Unpack Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance: disappointing return


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Frank Ocean’s return to performing has proven to be disappointing after a “listening party” Coachella performance. Ocean has taken a leave of absence since his brother’s death in 2020. His return proved to be unorganized.

I joined avid R&B listeners globally in anticipation of Frank Ocean’s return to Coachella this year. This was the first time Ocean had performed since Ocean’s brother, Ryan Breaux, after passing away three years ago due to  a car accident at 18. Although this tragedy and its effects on Ocean are undeniable, his Coachella performance was utterly disappointing for both  average listeners and supportive fans due to him clearly not being ready for such a large event.

Ocean was over an hour late resulting in a cut-short show. With minimal singing, many are calling the performance a “listening party,” according to Time. Many who documented the set captured Ocean taking long pauses even in the middle of songs. Fans even stopped defending Ocean as his second set was replaced with Blink-182


I don’t understand how Ocean didn’t consider the potential ramifications of his set going wrong.

— Elle Vail ’23





Artists deserve empathy more than anyone, but considering Coachella’s platform, I don’t understand how Ocean didn’t consider the potential ramifications of his set going wrong. The cancellation of his set for an unconfirmed ankle injury only added salt to the wound, increasing searches for “Coachella refund” by 491% according to CasinoAlpha.com. It is unlikely that these fans will get the refund they desire, a factor Frank Ocean should have considered when deciding to perform at such a large venue after grieving.

Ultimately, Ocean’s lack of planning has only lost him fans and likely a good relationship with the organizers of Coachella. It would have been more logical for Ocean to wait until he’s emotionally ready than to rush his reentrance.