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Frank Ocean’s Coachella livestream was cancelled, but the internet finds a way


It’s officially Frank Ocean Day.

Not really, but that’s what fans and listeners (me included) are dubbing it for the artist’s first live performance since 2017. Frank is the headliner for this year’s Coachella(Opens in a new tab), having been the headliner in 2020 before the festival was ultimately canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since releasing his sophomore studio album Blonde in 2016, Frank has gone under the radar, sporadically releasing music here and there in the last 7 years but nothing major that would hint at a new album.

And it’s not like he’s hiding away in a hermit hole somewhere—the man has been active. Frank has been seen exploring other creative avenues in his life including photography, fashion, and has allegedly even signed a deal with A24 to direct a movie(Opens in a new tab). Heven Haile at Pitchfork has an excellent timeline of everything Frank has been up to(Opens in a new tab) since the release of Blonde if you need a refresher before his Coachella set.

However, even before the Grammy-winning star hit the stage, the hype was palpable.

Wish I could be there

Coachella is unbelievably expensive and many across social media will be left with nothing but their thoughts as thousands of others get to experience Frank Ocean live. This is upsetting because I’m here writing this and not in California to hear “Self-Control” performed live for the first time in six years.

Others who do get to attend are emotional at the idea of hearing his music live for the first time in half a decade. Tracks from Frank’s Blonde album are what many look forward to the most. Blonde is a highly personal and introspective work that has inspired a generation of artists and is probably most fans’ first experience of Frank’s unique creative vision.

And some, in the days leading up to this weekend, believed Frank would be dropping new music. If you’re new to the tinfoil hat world of Frank Ocean music drops, just know that some of his more dedicated fans following the clues of his life think he’s about to drop new music every couple of months.

Showtime

As Frank hit the Coachella main stage, the performance was everything you could ask for and more… or so we hear. While his set was originally on the schedule for the Coachella livestream on YouTube, an official Twitter account for the Google-owned video site confirmed what fans had spotted on Sunday afternoon: Frank was a late scrub, and fans not in the California desert would be denied their official stream. (Several other high-profile performers at the festival, including Bjork and elusive producer Jai Paul, did not participate in the livestream either.)

But the internet provides, in the form of bootleg streams on Instagram Live and Twitch. (Even fellow megastars like Lorde(Opens in a new tab) and Drake(Opens in a new tab) were spotted lurking on the illicit broadcasts.)

Yes, Frank was over an hour late taking the stage, but it did eventually happen.

Clad in a blue hoodie and black durag, he launched into several cuts from Channel Orange and Blonde before a quick chat to the crowd where he confirmed that a new album would happen, just “not right now”.

The is a developing story…



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