Coachella 2023: weekend 1's standout sets and surprise performances

Indio, California - The first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival featured several notable performances and last-minute surprise sets from the biggest names in the game. Here are the standout moments from the weekend.

Labrinth (r) and Billie Eilish perform at Coachella 2023 in Indio, California.
Labrinth (r) and Billie Eilish perform at Coachella 2023 in Indio, California.  © Monica Schipper / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

While we'd love to say weekend one of Coachella 2023 went off without a hitch, that's not necessarily true. But despite some technical difficulties and lengthy set delays, weekend one was, for all intents and purposes, a success.

With a fresh lineup, stellar star presence on the grounds, festival fashion looks, and no reports of a REVOLVE Fest fiasco a la 2022, the desert music vibes were elite and attendees were loving every minute of weekend one.

From Billie Eilish joining Labrinth on stage to a star-studded takeover during Metro Boomin's stellar set and everything in between, here are a few standout moments from Coachella 2023's first weekend.

Post Malone crashes Bad Bunny's Coachella set, The Weeknd joins Metro Boomin, and Billie Eilish stuns with Labrinth

Bad Bunny serves as Coachella's first Latin solo headliner.
Bad Bunny serves as Coachella's first Latin solo headliner.  © VALERIE MACON / AFP

Coachella's weekend one showing was undoubtedly strong and chock-full of surprise appearances during memorable sets.

Take Bad Bunny's historic headlining set on Friday, for instance. Not only did the Grammy-winning artist keep the crowd in mind before the majority of his set got underway by asking if they preferred him to speak in English or Spanish to which the resounding response was for the latter, but he also brought out Post Malone for an acoustic performance.

However, technical difficulties plagued the performance, as the stream highlighted audio issues that led to Posty's acoustic guitar cutting in and out, along with mic issues. Bad Bunny later took to IG to share a video of himself and Post Malone practicing the performance, giving fans a taste of what it could've – and should've – been.

Kim Kardashian shows sister Kendall Jenner love on Insta: "always got ur back"
Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian shows sister Kendall Jenner love on Insta: "always got ur back"

Metro Boomin also took the stage on day one of Coachella, and he brought out a slew of top talent including Future, Don Toliver, 21 Savage, John Legend, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and The Weeknd.

The Weeknd played a total of six songs during his time on stage with Metro, and festivalgoers were living for every second of it.

Saturday also packed a surprise punch with appearances from the likes of Billie Eilish at Labrinth's set to perform their newly released collab Never Felt So Alone, but the cameos didn't stop there.

Coachella weekend 1: Rosalía brings out music-making fiancé, The Kid LAROI rebrands, BLACKPINK wows with drones, and Frank Ocean shows up late

BLACKPINK performs on Saturday during weekend one of Coachella 2023.
BLACKPINK performs on Saturday during weekend one of Coachella 2023.  © FRAZER HARRISON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Rosalía also brought out a surprise guest during her Saturday set by way of her fiancé and RR collaborator Rauw Alejandro. Also on Saturday was The Kid LAROI's set where he showed off his rebranded image by debuting a new haircut and introduced himself as "LAROI" – dropping "The Kid" from his title.

Justin Bieber also attended the STAY singer's set and was seen vibing out in the crowd before the 19-year-old called him out explicitly: "You’re such a special f**king human being…. Everybody here’s gotchu, bro," The Kid LAROI reportedly said while looking directly at Bieber. "Thank you for being not only an incredible musician and a collaborator, but thank you for being my f**king friend."

BLACKPINK made "herstory" during their Saturday set at Coachella while simultaneously converting weary festivalgoers into K-pop stans. But before the group took the stage, they put on a drone-powered 3D light show that truly set a new precedent for Coachella – which says a lot. Their set was, of course, a flawless, energetic, feel-good time.

Like Metro Boomin, Kali Uchis' Sunday set at Coachella was star-studded, but the crowd was noticeably hyped over Tyler, the Creator's cameo, joining Uchis for their collaborative track, See You Again. Don Toliver also joined Uchis to perform Fantasy, as did Omar Apollo to sing Worth the Wait.

Last was Frank Ocean's headlining set closing out weekend one. While fans were thrilled the singer was filling a headlining slot after his initial headlining performance for Coachella 2020 failed to take place as the festival was axed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the excitement soon shifted into annoyance due to the Thinkin Bout You singer's hour-late start.

Frank Ocean's Coachella set abrubtly ends

Attendees complained on TikTok about Frank Ocean's lengthy delay, the stage design which disallowed fans from seeing the singer at all, awkward silent lulls between songs, and guest appearances. The set was also not livestreamed by Coachella, which is extremely rare for headlining acts.

Because Frank Ocean's headlining set started so late, it ended up being abruptly cut due to curfew.

All oddities aside, the 35-year-old did take time to tease a new album at one point during his performance, one that fans have been waiting for since the release of Blonde in 2016.

Will Frank Ocean make up for a rather strange closing set during weekend one of Coachella's second weekend? Only time will tell.

Cover photo: Collage: Monica Schipper & Matt Winkelmeyer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP / VALERIE MACON / AFP

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