After a very chaotic and polarizing set at Coachella Weekend 1, many music fest fans are asking: who is replacing Frank Ocean at Coachella?
Coachella marked Frank Ocean’s first performance in over six years after his album Blonde, and his second Coachella performance after going to the fest in 2012. He was set to headline at Coachella 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdowns, it was canceled. Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett told Los Angeles Times that he predicted that Frank would be the headliner for 2023, and he was absolutely right. “Right now, it’s the Wild West,” Tollett said in 2021. “I’m just trying to be as fair as I can to artists and to the fans to make sure that eventually, they get to see everyone that we talked about.” The performance went on as planned, but it didn’t meet many fans’ expectations.
As a result, Frank Ocean canceled his Weekend 2 set at Coachella 2023. Frank Ocean’s reps told Rolling Stone in a statement that after suffering a leg injury at the festival during the first week of Coachella, a doctor advised that Ocean not perform the following week due to two fractures and a sprain in his left leg. “It was chaotic. There is some beauty in chaos. It isn’t what I intended to show but I enjoy being out there and I’ll see you soon,” Ocean said in a statement provided by his rep.
So who is replacing Frank Ocean at the coveted Sunday slot at Coachella? Read more below to find out.
Who is replacing Frank Ocean at Coachella?
Who is replacing Frank Ocean at Coachella? Blink-182 and the DJ trio Skrillex, Four Tet and Fred Again… will be replacing Frank Ocean as the main headliner for Coachella Weekend 2, per Variety. The band made a surprise announcement that they would reunite with its classic lineup of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker at the start of Weekend 1. It was the first time in almost a decade that the lineup played together.
Guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge who left the band in 2015 and later rejoined in 2022, posted a photo of the band performing at the desert festival on Instagram. “From break ups, to plane crashes, to cancer… @blink182 is fucking back. We’ve only just begun to offend. Ya can’t cancel this shiiiiiiitttttttt”
Bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, who battled cancer in 2021, also made an Instagram post about their reunion. “Chemo to Coachella. Very much in my feelings today. Grateful to be here and excited to play a rock show with my friends tonight.” He also made a post after the show. “Super fun show. Thanks @coachella.” Drummer Travis Barker tweeted, “Coachella we came 🥳.”
On April 20, 2023, Coachella announced on their schedule that DJ trio Skrillex, Four Tet and Fred Again… will close out the Coachella Main Stage on Sunday night at 10:25 p.m. Fred Again… posted on his Instagram, “I didn’t think I was gonna be back with my brothers like this for a longgggg time. Until last night. And here we are. We’ve seen all your lovely messages. I so appreciate you guys. Let’s have an absolute TIME.”
What Happened to Frank Ocean at Coachella?
What happened to Frank Ocean? Frank Ocean’s headlining set was a mix between fans and festivalgoers alike. The “Pyramids” singers set started an hour late and was cut by curfew—making fans believe that he did drop out of the desert festival.
Earlier on Sunday, April 16, 2023, Youtube tweeted that Frank’s Coachella set might be streamed. However, they took deleted the tweet and subsequently wrote: “Frank Ocean is not scheduled to appear on the Coachella livestream.” No explanation was provided by the video streaming site. Icelandic musician Björk also didn’t have her live stream broadcasted from the mainstage.
Hardcore Frank Ocean fans waited since at least 8 a.m., four hours before the festival was open at 12 p.m. to get a spot at the barricade for his set on the Coachella mainstage. Frank’s set was postponed for an hour after it was supposed to begin at 10:05. He began with the hit song “Novacane” which references the iconic desert music video. “Met her at Coachella,” meeting much to fan’s expectations, but the rest of the set met mixed reviews from the crowd.
During most of the set, Frank was behind the big screen and not really singing live. When DJ Crystalmess came on to play Jersey Remixes of his songs, Frank said, describing her set within a set, “You can’t even see Frank Ocean but you get a little rave mix in the middle of the show.” In some viral videos, a security guard can be seen dancing and twerking to her remixes. Also, Frank was holding the green doll that he brought to the 2021 Met Gala.
Frank also gave tribute to his brother Ryan Breaux who was killed in a car crash in 2020 at the age of 18. “It’s been so long…. But I have missed you,” Frank told the audience. “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.” He then hushed the cheerful audience. “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 [Bennett], I don’t know if Travis/Taco 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.”
Though everything came to an end unexpectedly when in the middle of singing a cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love),” Frank interrupted, “Guys, I’m being told it’s curfew so that’s the end of the show.” The stage screen went completely black, while fans screamed and chanted, “One more song!” However, Frank didn’t come back out and the set was completely over.
Many fans were disappointed in the timing of the set and craved more from his first set in six years. “Started the set late, didn’t let them live stream it, now ending the set early… frank ocean you will rue the day,” one fan tweeted. Another fan wrote, “Who tf r they keeping up with curfew they’re in a desert they aren’t keeping anyone up that doesn’t wanna hear Frank Ocean.” Frank fans have another chance to see him at Coachella weekend 2, but until then, we’ll keep replaying the set we have.
On Monday, April 17, 2023, sources told TMZ that Frank had an ankle injury before his set. His doctor advised him to change his production after a bike accident happened during Coachella rehearsals. The story was confirmed by Frank’s team to Billboard. Frank was supposed to have an ice rink with choreographed hockey players in custom Prada dance with him in the background. However, the injury made the plans to be scrapped.
The Festive Owl talked to several sources about the mishap and wrote, “The stage production was suppose to (and did) contain an ice rink that was constructed and ready to go. Frank decided at the last minute that he no longer wanted it at all. All of the people walking around him at the start of the performance were actually ice skaters, had been practicing for weeks, and were supposed to be skating as part of the production. Coachella had to deconstruct the approved stage (that had been planned and signed off on for months in advance) + melt the entire ice rink and then set it up how Frank decided today with no warning. Which is what you ended up seeing, and caused the hour long delay. This all happened when doors had already open for Sunday, and people were securing their spots to see him. If the last minute changes weren’t made he wouldn’t have performed at all — leaving the festival without a closing headliner. Frank also personally pulled the plug at the last second on the live stream which left a very sour taste in many inside Coachella mouths. Ultimately, and I quote — “It just didn’t seem like he wanted to be there but was obligated to be. Everything (including him) fell apart last minute. Don’t expect to see any coverage from the festival about the set. Something that is unprecedented in the history of Coachella. The relationship is not in a good place right now.”
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