Frank Ocean reportedly scrapped the idea for an on-stage ice rink after injuring his ankle during his on-ground rehearsals at Coachella, causing several last-minute changes to his headlining set on Sunday (April 16).
Per reports from Pitchfork, Ocean injured his ankle while on the festival grounds, rehearsing for his set. Pitchfork reports that “doctors advised Ocean take pressure off his ankle by changing his production for the show”. This reportedly resulted in several changes to his set, including a catwalk and circular stage not being used for his performance.
Rolling Stone added a source close to the performance revealed that a portion of Ocean’s set was initially meant to feature figure skaters on an ice rink. Aaron Vos, an ice hockey player from the Loyola Marymount University, posted a now-expired Instagram Story from the festival’s backstage area showing several men dressed in skating gear captioned: “The Boys x Frank.”
Festival news source Festive Owl later posted on Twitter that they had been speaking to sources involved in Ocean’s production, confirming that the ice rink was “deconstructed” at the last minute.
“All of the people walking around him at the start of the performance were actually ice skaters, had been practicing for weeks, and were supposed to be skating as part of the production,” they wrote. “Coachella had to deconstruct the approved stage (that had been planned and signed off on for months in advance) and melt the entire ice rink and then set it up how Frank decided today with no warning. Which is what you ended up seeing, and caused the hour long delay.”
The stage production was suppose to (and did) contain an ice rink that was constructed and ready to go.
Frank decided at the…
— Festive Owl (@TheFestiveOwl) April 17, 2023
It is unclear to what extent Ocean’s ankle has been injured, or if he will recover in time for his Coachella Weekend 2 headlining set.
Just hours before Frank Ocean was set to take the stage – which would mark his first live performance in six years – it was announced that his set (along with Björk’s) would not be streamed on Coachella’s official YouTube channels, causing an uproar online.
Starting his set an hour later than planned, Ocean kicked off his Coachella headlining set with ‘Novacane’, his Blonded Radio release ‘Come On World, You Can’t Go!’, ‘Crack Rock’, ‘Bad Religion’, ‘White Ferrari’.
His set – which was then cut short after being informed that the festival had hit its curfew limit – received mix reactions from fans. Some praised Ocean and the set for its unexpected remixes and Ocean’s vocals, while others criticised the singer for being late and ending his set abruptly.
Elsewhere in his set, Frank Ocean teased a new album. “It’s been so long but I have missed you,” he said. “I wanna talk about why I’m here, ‘cos it’s not because of a new album – not that there’s not a new album – but there’s not right now.”