It was reported earlier this week that an on-stage ice rink for Ocean’s headlining set was scrapped after he injured his ankle during his on-ground rehearsals, causing several last-minute changes.
Now, brothers Dan and Chris Powers have discussed their alleged involvement with Ocean’s scrapped stage production on the Empty Netters podcast.
The Powers brothers spoke about auditioning for the performance on an elevated ice rink, and rehearsing for roughly a month leading up to Ocean’s set. They claimed that they were rehearsing with other hockey skaters and Olympic figure skaters up until April 11, and did not learn about the production changes until hours before Ocean’s set.
“We get our call sheet, we have to go to this hotel to be picked up by a runner to be brought over to wardrobe and makeup,” said Dan Powers. “That moment is where the wheels started to fall off. We get to this hotel, we’re told to be there by 12. We then get a text that, ‘a/h, the runner’s not going to come ’til one.’ We then get another text, ‘ah they’re not going to come til three.’”
He continued: “We’re then waiting outside at three. We got our skates, we’re ready to rock. The bus of all the other skaters who weren’t at Coachella already has arrived. They’re all sitting in wardrobe. It’s a nightmare. We sit at this hotel and we run into the figure skaters, these Olympic figure skaters, mind you. And they have a disgruntled look on their faces, and they casually mention to us that they just got a phone call and they’ve been cut from the show. So we’re sitting there like, ‘what the fuck is happening right now?’”
Dan Powers also claimed that they started hearing rumours that Ocean had allegedly been in an accident and sustained an ankle injury, and that they were only told that they wouldn’t be skating in the show once they were already preparing to go into makeup. Powers also claimed that the original setup was set to include 120 skaters.
Despite not going ahead, the duo did spoke admiringly of their time working with Ocean.
“The one thing that made me genuinely sad [after] spending some time with him over the last several weeks: He really cares about the production,” Chris Powers said. “He had a very clear vision, and even though that vision changed a lot, he was always on us, helping us, making sure everyone hit what he was picturing in his mind.”
NME has contacted a spokesperson for Frank Ocean for comment.
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.
Meanwhile, Ocean has pulled out of his headlining slot at Coachella weekend 2 this coming Sunday (April 23) and will reportedly be replaced by Blink-182.