Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance leaves some fans disappointed


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R&B artist Frank Ocean’s return to the stage at the Coachella Valley Music Festival was met with controversy this past weekend. Ocean, a prolific yet polarizing artist, had taken an absence from the stage for the last six years, and fans were clamoring for his return. 

Following the release of his critically acclaimed 2016 album Blonde, Ocean has largely been absent from the public eye, releasing multiple singles and the occasional merch drop, but not dropping cohesive bodies of work or performing. Ocean was announced as the headliner for Coachella in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moved his headlining set to 2023. 

During the pandemic, on August 2, 2020, Ocean’s younger brother, 18-year-old Ryan Breaux, was killed in a car crash. This sent Ocean into an even deeper absence, not being seen publicly for the large amount of 3 years, making his return to the stage an even larger spectacle.

Fans from far and wide bought the 550-dollar starting fee for general admission to the festival and expected a historical performance from their favorite artist. But when they waited in anticipation for Ocean’s arrival on the night of April 16, things changed. 

Fans worldwide that planned to watch the performance on YouTube’s Coachella livestream received an alert that the show would no longer be streamed, causing outrage on social media outlets. Then, fans at the festival were informed that Ocean’s show would be delayed for at least an hour, causing outrage on the ground on top of the already visceral reactions online. 

After countless delays, Ocean finally took the stage. Met with cheers, he began to perform distorted remixes of some of his most popular songs, then let his DJ perform a small set, concluding with slow ballads and cutting his set short due to a “curfew”. 

Following the lackluster performance, fans took to Twitter and bashed Ocean for not looking out for fans and delivering what he promised.  

“For me as a big fan of Frank, it’s disappointing that that’s how his performance turned out,” said senior Gretchen Bush.

In an article by TMZ, a source claimed that Frank’s performance “was adjusted at the last minute to account for an ankle injury the singer sustained during on-site rehearsals in the week leading up to the festival.” This came after reports released that Ocean scrapped plans to have a more elaborate performance involving ice skaters and a rink with dancers. 

Amid rumors of a dysfunctional relationship between festival owners and his management, Ocean then dropped out for the second week of the festival  

“I hope Frank can work on whatever he’s dealing with and bring us music soon,” Bush said.