Despite fans’ disappointment, Frank Ocean‘s Coachella 2023 set is the gift that keeps on giving…even when you want it to stop.
A filmmaker has been advised to cease-and-desist after posting a concert film of Ocean’s Coachella performance, compiled of hundreds of fan-uploaded videos.
The singer-songwriter was a much-anticipated headliner at this year’s Coachella but left attendees less than enthused after a bizarre, lethargic performance. Ocean began an hour late, skipped several popular songs, openly lip-synced, had a 10-minute DJ set mid-show and abruptly ended after less than an hour due to the music festival’s strict Sunday curfew.
Ocean had not performed in six years and it’s been seven years since he released a full-length album. Needless to say, fans were desperate for a show and he did not deliver.
After the unsatisfying weekend one close-out, official Coachella live stream partner YouTube announced they were canceling the expected live stream, frustrating fans globally who had been unable to travel to California.
Because of this, filmmaker and Frank Ocean fan, Brain Kinnes, scoured the internet for footage of Ocean’s April 16 set uploaded by Coachella attendees. He was able to compile around 150 videos as an unofficial concert film, which he then uploaded to YouTube, TikTok and Twitter.
Kinnes released the film (about an hour and 20 minutes) on Tuesday, April 25 and received a cease and desist order from parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) that same day. AEG demanded Kinnes “remove and destroy all audio and video content (…) from the Festival.”
According to Variety, AEG demanded Kinnes destroy all of the video content he collected and “anything short of full compliance with this demand,’’ will lead to immediate legal action. Seems they’d rather forget the whole mess ever happened.
26-year-old Kinnes made a similar film in 2017 with fan-uploaded footage of Ocean’s show at the obsolete FYF Fest.
Due to a report filed by third-party copyright holder Rico Management, Kinnes’ Coachella film was removed from YouTube. However, he provided links on his website to Google Drive and Dropbox where the video was still downloadable. Those links have since been removed and his site features a disclaimer that the film is “currently unavailable to the public.”
“I’m not concerned with any legal repercussions because I do not plan on making a single penny from it,” Kinnes told Variety (though he did also tweet “the amount of job offers I’ve gotten in the last 48 hours is truly insane.”). “I will continue to upload it in places that (Ocean’s) legal team will not be able to find. I don’t know if I should tell that to a reporter, but it deserves to exist online.”
He did have to scrub his site and social accounts of the video to comply with AEG’s demands. But he says he’s confident “the video is going to be online forever,” since fans could download it before the cease-and-desist filing.
“I’m just combining what’s publicly available,” Kinnes said, adding “(AEG’s) claims are pretty frivolous and almost completely baseless.” Given Kinnes does not own Ocean’s music and lyrics, graphics and video elements, the festival’s trademarks and signage and more, it seems yet another copyright and IP law controversy is in the near future.
Ocean pulled out of weekend two of the music festival, reportedly due to a leg injury he suffered during his weekend one performance. Blink-182 will close out the 2023 festival instead.