On Monday (April 17), speculation around what might have gone wrong at Frank Ocean's Coachella set started flooding social media. Twitter account Festive Owl, who's been a source of festival news for the past decade, tweeted about a scrapped ice rink performance, where many skaters were unexpectedly cut from the set. A day prior, a photo of ice machines backstage furthered the claims. Now two former hockey players have spoken out about their experience at the festival.
Empty Netters hosts Dan and Chris Powers claim they had been hired to be part of Ocean's Coachella performance and had been practicing for weeks with over 100 other ice skaters, including some Olympian athletes.
After the runner who was sent to pick them up at noon was hours late, they said they arrived at the festival only to hear that Ocean had sustained an ankle injury and he no longer wanted to do the skating section of the performance. They then overheard fellow skaters getting phone calls informing them that they were cut from the show. The two claim they were asked to walk around the stage for five minutes in sequin Prada suits but declined.
"We both know how show business works in a lot of ways. Production is a mess in everything all the time," Chris said, before noting it would have been a worthy experience if it actually happened. "But there was a lot of sunk time for the participants throughout this because we had been rehearsing for months." While Dan and Chris had tickets to the festival and were able to enjoy the rest of their time there, the rest of the performers left the desert in buses, they said.
Dan later said, "It's not like this fell apart and [Frank] was like, 'Oh no!' He was actively like 'I don't want to fucking do this.' Those figure skaters got cut not because there was an ice issue and something went wrong. There was no malfunction. He was straight up like, 'Fuck this. I'm not doing this anymore.'"
The two podcast hosts talk about the situation at length for the first twenty minutes of the podcast. Watch it below in full.
The FADER has reached out to Frank Ocean's team for comment.