Frank Ocean has canceled his scheduled headlining set at Coachella 2023 this Sunday, April 23, due to injuries sustained during his performance last week. According to a statement released by Ocean, he suffered two fractures and a sprain in his left leg during the chaotic show. Despite not intending to show this side of his artistry, Ocean enjoyed his time on stage and promised to return soon. Coachella has not yet commented on the cancellation.
During his set on April 16, Ocean performed reworked versions of songs from his entire discography, including “Novacane,” “Pink + White,” and “Crack Rock.” He also debuted a new punk version of the Django Unchained outtake “Wiseman” and a cover of the Willie Nelson-penned Aretha Franklin song “Night Life.” He hinted at an upcoming album and honored his late brother Ryan Breaux during his performance.
Some fans were upset that Ocean’s set was not included in the festival’s YouTube stream, and the show came to an abrupt end when it was announced that curfew had been reached. Fans booed and chanted for an encore, resulting in the festival being fined for violating curfew by Indio, California city officials.
Sources indicated that prior to the cancellation, Frank Ocean had sustained an ankle injury and made production changes based on doctors’ advice. Rumors circulated that these changes included canceling plans for an ice skating rink on the stage. Two ice skaters even discussed their alleged experience working with Ocean leading up to Sunday’s performance in a podcast.
Fans had been eagerly anticipating Ocean’s headlining performance at Coachella since 2020 when he was initially announced as one of the main acts, only to have the festival canceled for two years in a row due to the pandemic. In August 2021, co-founder Paul Tollett announced Ocean’s headlining performance in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, further fueling excitement.
This year’s cancellation marks the second time in a row that a Coachella headliner has pulled out. In April 2022, Kanye West withdrew less than two weeks before his scheduled performance, leaving Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd to step in and perform together on April 17 and 24. West was later sued for $7.1 million by Phantom Labs, the Los Angeles based production and design firm, which claimed he owed them money for his canceled Coachella performance.