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Did Frank Ocean Drop Out Of Coachella? His 1st Set After 6 Years Was Cut Short

If you stayed up late to watch the elusive artist’s set, you might be wondering: did Frank Ocean drop out of 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.”

So did Frank Ocean drop out of Coachella? Read more below to find out.

Did Frank Ocean drop out of Coachella?

Frank Ocean

Image: C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Did Frank Ocean drop out of Coachella? No, he did not drop out of Coachella. However, his 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

Many fans were already antsy about the prospects of their favorite artist not playing after all, and after Youtube’s announcement, people went off on social media. Many scrambled to find a good fan-run live stream on Instagram or TikTok, but unlike an official live stream, it wouldn’t be the same quality.

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 recalled how the pandemic changed him and his outlook on creating music. “Back in 2020, I was just starting to throw parties in little clubs in New York that were just getting started before sh– started shutting down.” He continued, “And I was having such a good time playlisting music and listening to so much new music and encountering DJs who were up and coming and who were really on their sh–. It’s become such a part of my practice now with my new weekly thing, with [Apple Music 1’s] Homer Radio that we’ve been working on…. It’s good that it’s not always about me.”

The whole set wasn’t a rave party though. Frank settled in to perform some of his greatest hits in an intimate setting and in ways that his fans have never heard of before. He performed an acoustic version of “Pink + White,” a remix of “Solo,” a drill edit of “Chanel,” and a punk rock remix of “Wiseman.”

Frank also gave tribute to his brother Ryan Bordeaux 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.”

Frank gleefully performed around the stage when singing (or lip-syncing) “Nikes” and “Nights.” He also brought a young piano player named Josiah who represented his “inner child” to perform a sort-of new track.

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.

Frank Ocean Coachella Setlist

Here’s a setlist of what Frank Ocean played at his Coachella set on April 17, 2023.

  1. Novacane (New Version)
  2. Come On World, You Can’t Go!
  3. Crack Rock
  4. Impietas / Deathwish (ASR)
  5. Bad Religion
  6. White Ferrari
  7. Florida
  8. Pink + White
  9. Solo
  10. Solo (Reprise)
  11. Chanel
  12. Lost
  13. Slide (Jersey Club Remix)
  14. In Ha Mood (Ice Spice song)
  15. Provider (Jersey Club Remix)
  16. In My Room (Jersey Club Remix)
  17. No Church in the Wild / Pyramids (JAY Z & Kanye West song) (Mashup)
  18. Godspeed
  19. Wise Man
  20. Night Life (Aretha Franklin cover)
  21. Self Control (Acoustic, Frank on guitar)
  22. Nikes (Shortened)
  23. Nights (Mixed with Sango Remix)
  24. At Your Best (You Are Love) (The Isley Brothers cover)

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