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Frank Ocean Fan Threatened With Legal Action Over Homemade Coachella Film

4 May 2023 | 2:28 pm | Emma Whines

“I did not expect a legitimate cease-and-desist from the head of legal at AEG."

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Frank Ocean's Coachella set has quickly turned into one of the most controversial performances of the year.

To catch you up to speed, here's the drama that ensued

Just hours before he was set to hit the stage on weekend one of Coachella, the festival announced that Ocean's performance would no longer be live-streamed and no merch relating to the star would be available.

The issues then continued when Ocean took to the stage over an hour late with no apology. He kicked off the performance with Novacane, Come On World, You Can’t Go!, Crack Rock, Bad Religion, and White Ferrari, before giving a touching speech about attending the festival with his late brother, Ryan Breaux, who died in a car crash in 2020.

Throughout the performance, fans noted his disinterested behaviour, with some reporting that he hid behind a screen for part of the performance. 

After covering Aaliyah’s At Your Best (You Are Love), Ocean abruptly told the crowd at 12:20 am that the festival had hit its curfew limit and he would need to end his set - despite Coachella's curfew time being 1am.

A few days later, it was announced Ocean would not be performing on Weekend 2 and that he would be replaced by Blink 182

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Understandably many fans were outraged and demanded ticket refunds for weekend two of Coachella. 

Now, more drama emerges as Coachella parent company AEG is currently taking legal action against a NYC-based filmmaker who created a concert movie using found footage of Ocean’s controversial set at the festival.

Brian Kinnes, who did not attend the festival, stayed up on the night of Ocean's performance and watched as fans attending the gig posted footage online. Gathering those pieces together, Kinnes managed to stitch together over 150 fan-made videos to create a complete live-set video of Oceans performance, which he now calls The Rebuild Cut

The video was shared on April 25 but was removed hours later after Coachella's parent company AEG demanded it be taken down over copyright claims. Kinnes subsequently shared the video with fans via Dropbox and Google Drive resulting in AEG’s cease-and-desist.

SFGate spoke to Kinnes, where he outlined his shock at receiving a cease and desist from the music giant. 

“I did not expect a legitimate cease-and-desist from the head of legal at AEG," He says. 

“Just the tone of that letter really put me off guard. I didn’t realize how much they didn’t want that being seen in a quote-unquote professionally recorded way.”

Kinnes goes on to say that he doesn't believe his version violates any copyright law since his film is just a compilation of over 100 publicly available videos, including a few full recordings of the set that have yet to be removed from YouTube.

You can subscribe to Brian's newsletter here to receive updates on the case.