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Frank Ocean Pulls Out of Coachella Weekend 2

Frank Ocean’s rep has confirmed that he will not perform at Coachella this Sunday. A source close to the situation says Blink-182 will take his spot.

Sources indicated Ocean had recently sustained an ankle injury and had altered the set’s overall production on the advice of doctors before today’s cancellation. The changes included scrapping plans for an ice skating rink connected to the stage, according to rumors. A podcast featuring two ice skaters discussed their alleged experience working with Ocean in the week leading up to Sunday’s performance.

It comes after days of uproar over Ocean’s controversial set during the festival’s first weekend. It was well-played but uneven musically but marred by major production problems: There had been a plan to perform on an ice rink with dozens of skaters, but that was suddenly canceled. A number of sources had suggested that Ocean canceled the big production just hours before he was due to perform because he decided he didn’t want to do it, but Ocean’s statement claims it was canceled because of an ankle injury he sustained earlier in the week.

While recordings of the concert — which was not live-streamed, unlike most other sets during the festival — show that he performed innovative new arrangements of several of his songs, overall, the energy was low; he and the band were obscured by a battery of people walking in a circle around the stage (a revision of the original plan to have him surrounded by ice skaters); and the pacing was bizarre: a seemingly random DJ set was dropped into the middle, leading many fans to think his performance was over. Additionally, it started an hour late due to a last-minute production change, according to sources.

Coachella fans have been anticipating Ocean’s headlining performance since 2020 when the festival was canceled for two consecutive years because of the pandemic. During an interview with the Los Angeles Times in August 2021, the event’s co-founder Paul Tollett announced Ocean would headline the 2023 edition.

This marks the second year in a row a Coachella headliner has dropped out. Kanye West backed out of the festival just two weeks before the event was supposed to take place. Neither his representatives nor the festival provided a reason for the withdrawal. As a replacement, Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd performed on Sundays, April 17 and 24. Phantom Labs, a Los Angeles-based production and design firm, later sued West for $7.1 million, claiming he owed them money for his canceled Coachella performance.

It may have been disappointing for Ocean fans not to see his second concert since 2017, but Coachella 2023 is still likely to be a success.


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