Ocean headlined the closing night of the first weekend of Coachella Festival earlier this month. It was his first live gig since 2017 but the reaction to Ocean’s performance from fans was mixed, with the show starting late and getting abruptly cut short. Liam Gallagher called Coachella a “pathetic” festival but Justin Bieber said he was “deeply moved” by Ocean’s performance.
Frank Ocean is not scheduled to appear on the Coachella livestream. The current schedule is in the description → https://t.co/oweGcgaTZs
— YouTube (@YouTube) April 17, 2023
However following the festival, Brian Kinnes, a Los Angeles-based editor and filmmaker, recreated the set using fan-shot footage.
Kinnes didn’t attend the festival but downloaded more than 450 videos of fan-shot footage to create the multi-cam edit before uploading it to YouTube. It was swiftly removed for copyright reasons but Kinnes continued to share it via other means.
As reported by Variety, Kinnes has now been issued with a cease and desist letter from AEG, which owns Coachella promoters Goldenvoice. The letter instructs Kinnes to “remove and destroy all audio and video content of musical performances from the festival”.
“Anything short of full compliance with this demand will lead to the initiation of immediate formal legal action,” it continued.
“I’m just combining what’s already publicly available,” Kinnes said in an interview with Variety. “Essentially, [AEG’s] claims are pretty frivolous and almost completely baseless.”
He added that he “did not plan on making a single penny” from the video but has made it “currently unavailable to the public”.
i just want people to be able to see the fucking film.
— brian (@briankinnes) April 29, 2023
“It feels like a massive overreach of power by a corporation that is struggling with their image,” he continued. “It’s a totally outlandish situation: being in a battle with a multibillion dollar corporation while sitting in my one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick.”
“I do think that if Frank saw the video, he would have a certain level of appreciation for the way I captured the performance,” he added. “I don’t think he would have any issues with it.”
this is where I make my little films for the internet. pic.twitter.com/XVVeb6g44A
— brian (@briankinnes) April 25, 2023
A prominent intellectual property lawyer told Variety that AEG’s claims against Kinnes are shaky, but so is Kinnes’ defence.
After Ocean’s performance it was reported that he’d scrapped an onstage ice rink after injuring himself during rehearsals. He was due to appear again at weekend two of Coachella but pulled out days before on “doctor’s advice”. He was replaced by Blink-182 and a closing set from Skrillex, Fred Again.. and Four Tet.
Speaking onstage about new music, Ocean confirmed that he wasn’t headlining Coachella to promote a new album before adding “not that there’s not a new album. But there’s not right now.” Instead, he said that it was in tribute to his late brother whom he used to attend the festival regularly with.