Andy Abita/”Desert Sun”/USA Today/Imagen
The polarization of Frank Ocean’s Coachella and its subsequent cancellation just days before the festival’s second weekend sparked a wave of negative reactions from attendees and fans. With little information about what happened, many sources involved in the performance tell us Rolling Stone that aside from Ocean’s team-cited ankle injury, the performance had production problems and delays that led to a last-minute “scramble”.
The day after his set, Ocean’s rep said Rolling Stone that he had fractured his left leg in the days leading up to the show during a cycling accident, which caused unexpected changes to the concert’s production and led to the cancellation of the second weekend.
On the Thursday before the show, Ocean and the performers arrive on the festival grounds for a personal rehearsal on the main stage at Coachella. Attendees were able to hear Ocean’s raw vocals as he checked the sound. According to multiple reports and sources, the singer had planned to include an ice rink and more than 100 skaters as part of his set. Says two skaters present at the rehearsal Rolling Stone that Ocean “looked great” while examining the songs, while one said he looked “a little underwhelmed” with the production.
“There really wasn’t the most positive atmosphere because everything was so late,” adds the other skier. was asking [questions] In a “we’d like to take charge” kind of tone… At some point, they cut off the ears because they realized we can all hear. “
“There was a lot of production [elements] That Frank planned it at the last minute didn’t materialize,” added a separate source. “That threw everything out, so it was a scramble afterward.”
A Goldenvoice representative did not respond to the Coachella promoter Rolling StoneRequest comment on this story. Ocean’s representative declined to comment.
The source added that Ocean had planned a “winter wonderland”-themed show at the ice rink, but “a lot of it has been cancelled.” The description of the performance is consistent with what was shared by two hockey players – who said they were meant to be part of the ocean show – during their appearance at empty threads podcast earlier this week. The skaters said the “skating part is going to be huge” on the show, they said.
said the head of production for another artist who was performing on the main stage last weekend Rolling Stone They had to work around the ice rink in the days leading up to Ocean’s set, saying they were surprised when Ocean and the performers didn’t move to the secondary ice stage on Sunday.
Although it’s not clear what songs Ocean plans to include in his final list, the skaters present at Thursday’s rehearsal recount Rolling Stone That the singer has checked out tracks like 2018’s “Moon River” and blond“Beautiful beautiful.” the blond The performance of the song was to see the skaters take part in an elaborate number involving mock fighting between the performers and “spinning around the gutter” like choreography.
Ocean also rehearsed the Justice remix of “Dear April,” a song he released in 2020 after premiering it during his NYC PrEP+ party earlier that year. (Onstage on Sunday, Ocean made reference to the gay-focused riffs he was throwing while addressing the crowd after DJ Crystallmess’ EDM part of the performance.)
While those three tracks weren’t played on Sunday, a source close to Ocean previously said Rolling Stone that Ocean’s set had run 15 minutes longer than originally intended, despite the delay and curfew.
For some of the performers, the uncertainty surrounding his headlining show continued into Sunday, just hours before Ocean hit the stage. “Things started to fall apart,” said one skater after some skaters received “confusing messages” from the production team.
A source earlier indicated production problems with the performance Rolling Stonesays that the group’s “dancing security guard”—who is actually New Orleans renegade artist Ha Sizzle—was meant to play a “larger role” during the show.
“To give me the chance to bring the music of New Orleans and Bounce onto the international stage, to speak to who he is and show that he hasn’t forgotten where he’s from,” said Siezel. Rolling Stone When asked to comment on his inclusion in the show. He did not comment on his changing role. “Everyone complains about the show, but in New Orleans we love the attention it shows us. Do you, Frank.”
like painting mentioned On Friday, Ocean’s last-minute cancellation could cost millions of dollars, especially because of the money spent on the ice and on the talent to replace him. Ocean also earned a $45,000 fee for playing Ex Curfew, per panel, though the report claims he only started performing late and played Ex Curfew because Coachella staff took almost an extra hour to set the stage for Ocean’s performance.
His collection has been one of the most anticipated at Coachella in years. The enigmatic singer hasn’t performed live since 2017, and the pandemic has put his 2020 performance on hold for another three years. With the ocean scarce in the public eye, many festival-goers anticipated a landmark performance that would define the history of Coachella as Beyoncé did in 2018.
The show would end up receiving mixed reviews, with Ocean himself calling it “messy”. Earlier on the day of his performance, Coachella and YouTube announced that Ocean’s show would not be broadcast live, unlike most sets. He started his set about an hour late, took long pauses between songs, and ended the concert abruptly, citing the city’s curfew. The stage was also covered by a huge screen, allowing only a small portion of the performance area through which the audience could see the surroundings and some of the performers directly, and the screen flashed various scenes from the stage, including close-ups of the singer’s face.
During the performance, Ocean showed moments of vulnerability, sharing a touching story about going to Coachella with his brother Ryan, who died in 2020 in a car accident. “One of my fondest memories was watching Rae Sremmurd with my brother [at Coachella]I know he would have been so excited to be here with all of us.”
Ocean addressed the crowd several times and sparked new music but was rarely seen facing the audience during the set. After the performance, video emerged of a skater from Ocean sitting on the stage floor by himself and rocking backstage while Crystallmess tossed some tracks to the audience.
Some attendees, including Justin Bieber, praised Ocean’s performance for its artistry and vulnerability, but many festival-goers left disappointed and bewildered by the performance.
Many fans of Ocean have come to the defense of any criticism, noting that Ocean’s grief may still deal with the loss of his brother, his honesty toward his artistic vision, and questioning the nature or extent of what he expects the headliners collection to be. The artist is indebted to the show.
It was messy. There is some beauty in chaos. “It’s not what I intended to show but I enjoyed being there and I’ll see you soon,” Ocean said in a statement.
Blink-182 was officially announced as Ocean’s replacement for the Sunday night headliner on Wednesday, while EDM trio Skrillex, Fred Again.. and Four Tet are set to play the electronic closing set right after. The second weekend of the festival started on Friday.
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