With the return of music festivals, Frank Ocean is up to his old tricks of cancelling and rescheduling festival appearances, starting with Coachella. Come on, you really thought he was just going to show up and perform just like that? We gotta work for it!
In a rare interview with Los Angeles Times, Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett revealed the R&B musician’s performance has been pushed back one year to 2023. Ocean was first slated to perform at the 2020 iteration of Coachella, which was outright cancelled due to the pandemic. After a 3-year hiatus, the festival will make its grand return in 2022, sans Ocean due to scheduling conflicts. Original co-headliners Travis Scott and Rage Against the Machine will still perform, with one more artist filling Ocean’s now-empty slot. Tollett made the unusual announcement to avoid a frenzy from fans who were looking forward to Ocean’s set after so many changes over the last couple of years.
“Right now, it’s the Wild West,” Tollett said. “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.”
Other confirmed performers include Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat who, in the wake of their exponential success since 2019, now find themselves higher up on the bill. Tickets sold out very quickly when they went on sale in June.
“It’s a whole different conversation,” Tollett said of the upcoming festival, “different stage, different timing.”
A known recluse who only appears every now and then to deliver a mind-boggling performance and then vanish again, Ocean does not need a global pandemic to have a reason to stay away from people. What would have been his first live show since 2017—aside from a few club DJ appearances—will now have to wait until 2023.