BREAKING: Frank Ocean replaced by Blink-182 for Sunday headlining set at Coachella 2023
For the second straight year, Coachella has had to replace its main headliner after Frank Ocean officially pulls out of weekend two of Coachella 2023.
When Coachella announced Frank Ocean as the headlining act for 2023, it was universally seen as one of the biggest acquisitions the festival had gotten in recent memory. Ocean would be breaking a six-year hiatus with a return to a festival he has come to know so well. However, even getting to this point was not easy. It had taken over three years for Goldenvoice to get Frank Ocean back to the Coachella stage after he was originally scheduled to play the 2020 edition before the Covid-19 pandemic. Ocean was then ultimately moved to be the main headliner for Coachella 2023.
And now, as of yesterday morning, for the second time in a row, Coachella will have to replace its main headliner as according to a representative close to Frank Ocean, he has officially pulled out of weekend two due to a reported fracture and sprain in his left leg. Coachella was forced to find a replacement last year as Kanye West dropped out less than two weeks before the start of the event, which led to the collaborative show of Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd. The R&B icon will be replaced by legacy rock act, blink-182, who performed a surprise set during weekend one of Coachella 2023 at the Sahara Tent, which many claimed was the best show of the weekend.
“Frank Ocean will not be performing at weekend [two] of Coachella. After suffering an injury to his leg on festival grounds in the week leading up to weekend [one]. Frank Ocean was unable to perform the intended show but was still intent on performing, and in 72 hours, the show was reworked out of necessity. On doctor’s advice, [Ocean] is not able to perform weekend [two] due to two fractures and a sprain in his left leg.” – Statement form Frank Ocean representative via Variety.com
Recognized across the world as one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years, passes for weekend one sold out just hours after release as fans wanted the chance to witness the Grammy-winning artist make history. As the festival officially kicked off its first weekend this past Friday, high expectations and speculation began to form on what the show would entail due to Ocean’s well-known artistic vision throughout the years and Coachella’s decision to make the festival go dark during the first part of his set, other than Gordo playing at the Yuma Tent. The hype led to a large number of attendees camping out for over 13 hours at the main stage on Sunday to get even a relatively close spot for Ocean’s show.
Fast forward to the end of Sunday night, and unfortunately, Ocean’s performance ended up being met with a ton of criticism and mixed emotions. Fans were left perplexed as many things did not feel right before and during the show, leading to one of the most bizarre Coachella sets in the festival’s history.
First, for those watching the live stream, it had been advertised for days that Ocean’s set would be one of the many broadcasted. However, only a few hours before he took the stage and after YouTube had already advertised it that morning, the set was removed from the schedule with no explanation. Ocean then showed up an hour late to the set, only giving him less than the usual two hour time slot for headliners to perform. He would later abruptly end the show by saying, “Guys, I’m being told it’s curfew, so that’s the end of our show. Thank you so much,” and proceeded to walk off.
During the first 30 minutes of the show, attendees thought they were watching a prerecorded set as Ocean stayed hidden in the back of the stage with a camera crew broadcasting him and his band on the giant screen they had created as part of his stage design. What was once thought to be a huge production with an ice skating rink in the middle of the crowd ended up being an entirely stripped-down jam session. He eventually would make his way out to the front stage, where a small section had been cut out to address the crowd, but then would walk off only to leave his DJ to perform a 15-minute mix. He then returned and plugged his phone into an aux cord only to then dance to his music until the show was over.
“It was chaotic. There is some beauty in chaos. It isn’t what I intended to show but I did enjoy being out there and I’ll see you soon.” – Frank Ocean
Even with a few incredible moments, such as his performances of “White Ferrari,” “Novacane” and his speech dedicating his performance to his brother, Ryan Breaux, who tragically died in 2020, Ocean left a sour taste in many fan’s mouths in which many attendees left the festival before the show had ended. After Sunday, there was an influx of concertgoers who were calling for the replacement of Ocean for weekend two. On Monday, we would learn that Ocean reportedly hurt his ankle riding his bike days before his performance which sources close to Ocean said was the reason for his decision to change in stage design just hours before the performance.
The official timetable for weekend two has yet to release, but Bad Bunny and BLACKPINK will return as the Friday and Saturday headliners. It is still a discussion as to who will take blink-182’s previous spot at the Sahara Tent.
Watch the full Frank Ocean performance recorded by fans here. Check out the full Coachella 2023 lineup below. Purchase remaining weekend two tickets here.
Featured Image Credit: Aktiv I Oslo.no via Flickr Creative Commons