Fans were disappointed with Frank Ocean’s highly anticipated Coachella 2023 performance after he started an hour late, skipped over many fan-favorite songs, performed mostly sitting down with his back to the crowd, and lip-synched to several tracks. He also exceeded the festival curfew and abruptly ended his set after less than 90 minutes.
After receiving criticism, Ocean was defended by fellow musician Justin Bieber in a genuine post on social media. Bieber praised Ocean’s exceptional talents and vocals, recalling how he was left stunned after witnessing his performance at Coachella in 2019. Describing him as incomparable with impeccable style, taste and attention to detail, Bieber found himself deeply moved by the experience which only made him more determined to excel as an artist. Evidently inspired by Ocean’s remarkable abilities that night, he expressed his gratitude for the unforgettable memories created and applauded him for continually raising the bar.
There may have been a dramatic overhaul of Ocean’s performance in the hours before its start, which may explain why the set felt off, according to sources. An elaborate stage production involving an ice rink was constructed, and a group of skaters, who would skate around Ocean and the band during their set, practiced for several days and were ready to go until Ocean allegedly called it all off on Sunday afternoon with just hours to go before taking the stage.
The singer’s performance at this year’s festival was adjusted at the last minute due to an ankle injury sustained during on-site rehearsals, according to TMZ and Rolling Stone, suggesting the singer spent much of his set seated.
Ocean is still scheduled to perform on April 23 at Coachella’s second weekend, despite criticism and controversy. In light of the mixed reviews he received from his first performance, fans are eager to see what he will bring to the stage.