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Wishing You Godspeed, Glory
Frank Ocean's Coachella Performance 2023
May 9, 2023
Frank Ocean, American singer, song writer, rapper, photographer, and fashion designer, has not performed live, or put out a new album in 8 years. Ocean has only released two albums, and a handful of singles, and still is one of the biggest artists in the industry. Years of anticipation for his Coachella performance drive fans crazy, finally able to see their favorite artist on stage, in the flesh. Coachella is a worldwide famous music festival, known for huge artists and A list celebrities to attend each night. Coachella is held in southern California on one of the hottest weekends yet. Hundreds of dollars went into purchasing these tickets, as well as the pricey concessions inside the festival, not even mentioning the prices of the elaborate outfits the festival is known for.
Before the big performance, the festival announced that the set would not be live streamed. This shocked a lot of fans who were planning to watch the livestream from their homes. Later it was announced that Ocean changed the entire theme of the stage, resulting in a delay, and performers being fired hours before the show. Insiders said that the stage was supposed to be an ice-skating rink, with dancers surrounding Ocean. Although a lot of headliners are known to be late, Frank Ocean was an hour late. Fans all over the deserts were passing out from heat exhaustion and overall looked like a shit show. This would not have been an issue if he were an hour late and gave the performance of a lifetime, but unfortunately this was not the case. When did Frank finally arrived on stage, fans described the whole experience as off-putting. Frank was seated the whole time and there was a random DJ segment in the middle of the set which made fans believe his set was over. After the DJ intermission, Ocean performed a couple of other songs, singing over the original songs’ tracks. For his first performance in 8 years, this was a letdown, especially considering the hundreds of fans who spent hundreds of dollars on these tickets, and hours waiting to see such an exceedingly rare performance.
Coachella—known for having an extremely strict curfew, resulting in fines for the artist. Per Coachella’s agreement, going five minutes past curfew costs $20,000, plus $1,000 for each additional minute. Although Ocean was being payed 4 million dollars for just performing, and he was an hour late, he ended the show 25 minutes after curfew, costing $40,000 worth of time. Frank was originally scheduled to headline both weekends, but after the first one, he resigned from the second weekend. Fans speculate that Ocean just simply does not enjoy preforming and was most likely pressured into doing it in the first place.
Although the performance was disappointing to say the least, it is also important to remember how hard these past couple of years have been on Ocean. Franks biggest supporter, his brother, Ryan Breaux, died in a fatal car accident at age 18 in 2020. Ocean has always been close with his brother; Ryan was even featured on his grammy winning album at the end of the song “Futura Free.” Frank talked a little about the significance of Coachella to him, and overall, fans can infer this was something extremely difficult and emotional for the singer to do. Ocean said:
“It’s been so long…. But I have missed you, I want to talk about why I’m here because it’s not because of a new album… Not that there’s not a new album. You know, these last couple years, my life changed so much… My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. I feel like I was dragged out here half the time because I hated the dust out here, I always left with a respiratory infection, or what have you. So I would avoid coming, but I would always end up here. One of my fondest memories was watching Rae Sremmurd on I don’t know what that stage is called with my brother. And Travis, I don’t know if Travis is here, but we was just dancing in that tent to their music, and I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us. I want to say thank you for the support and the ears and the love over all this time.” —Frank Ocean Coachella 2023
Fans of Frank Ocean know that he is a private person and doesn’t really like the pressures of being a star. Additionally, they should know that Frank Ocean releases music when he feels like it and the Coachella performance was merely just a blip in his history. The world loves Frank Ocean and his music and will be complete when/if he releases his new album.