Coachella Weekend 1 Recap: Historic Headliners, Special Guests, & Underwhelming Sets

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Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

The Coachella Music and Arts Festival returned to Indio, California this weekend with groundbreaking performances and various surprises across the 3-day festival.

Friday, Bad Bunny took the stage as the first Latino solo artist to headline the festival with a vibrant, immersive 2-hour performance and surprise guests including Post Malone, Jhayco and Ñengo Flow. While on Saturday, K-Pop superstars BLACKPINK made their mark as the first Korean artists to headline, taking over the Coachella Main Stage with engaging choreography and solo sets by each of the 4 members, Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa. Sunday’s headlining performance, Frank Ocean, had a set that was not only cut short due to curfews, but lacked in production value and left fans largely underwhelmed.

Credit: Jenn Five

In addition to the headlining sets, the weekend was jam-packed with surprises for fans. Long-time fans of Blink-182 were gifted with a surprise reunion of the original 3-piece band, who hadn’t performed together in nearly a decade and announced the reunion just 2 days before the festival began. Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge took the stage to perform their pop-punk classics including “I Miss You” and “All the Small Things.”

Pop DJ Calvin Harris’s set included a new version of his hit song “Slide” from his 2017 album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 featuring Frank Ocean & Migos. The track included an unreleased verse from the late member Takeoff, who passed away in 2022. Composer and producer Labrinth brought out Billie Eilish to perform their new duet, “Never Felt So Alone,” and Colombian R&B artist Kali Uchis welcomed Tyler, The Creator, Don Toliver and Omar Apollo to perform some hit collaborations at her ethereal set.

Indie supergroup Boygenius led a powerfully intimate set that featured songs from their new and critically-acclaimed album, the record, publicly voiced their support for the trans community and took a stance against Florida governor Ron DeSantis amid the ongoing crisis against the LGBTQ+ community in the state and beyond. Reggaeton star Rosalía gave her audience a cinematic experience to highlight her genre-bending album Motomami, her recent collaboration with fiance Rauw Alejandro and included a breathtaking cover of The Weeknd’s smash-hit “Blinding Lights.”

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

Sunday’s highly anticipated headliner Frank Ocean led a tumultuous performance that was ultimately cut short due to the festival’s strict nightly curfew. The Grammy-winning artist began his first performance in 6 years over an hour later than scheduled, and Youtube announced that Ocean’s set would not be livestreamed along with Björk and first-time live performer Jai Paul. Part of the appeal of Coachella includes the high quality live streams of each performance, giving fans unable to attend a glimpse of the excitement in the California Desert.

Music blog The Festive Owl reported that Ocean possibly pulled the plug on an elaborate production right before his scheduled performance time, a set that included an ice rink and dozens of figure skaters who rehearsed for weeks leading up to the event. The livestream was pulled along with the deconstructed production, causing the prolonged delay and leaving only a massive screen that showed the elusive R&B artist concealed backstage with his band. Ocean only briefly revealed himself to the crowd for a few songs before retreating behind the screen for the remainder of his set.

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Read the report by The Festive Owl here.

Besides the chaotic turnout, Frank Ocean did hint at a new album during his set – no date has been announced, but new music has been confirmed by the artist. His last album Blonde was released nearly 7 years ago, in August 2016.

The dust has settled on Weekend 1, but will soon be kicked right back up this Friday, April 21 for another round of music, art and celebration. Check out the full lineup below.

Check out Weekend 1 Coachella performances and stay up to date on livestreams coming this weekend below:
Coachella YouTube Channel

The Festive Owl:
Twitter // Instagram

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