Written by Diana Pacheco A.K.A. Cozy Spice
Featured image credits to Allen J. Schaben of the Los Angeles Times
Camp Flog Gnaw ended with heavy spirits on Sunday night as hundreds of people swarmed to the exit post secret headliner reveal.
Tyler The Creator, the famous rapper who started Camp Flog Gnaw from the ground up eight years ago, walked onto the stage, asking the audience if he could bring some friends out. Rappers A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert came out and did back to back performances, doing about two songs each.
Tyler then asked the audience for the third time if he could bring out another friend out. To everyone’s surprise, rap superstar Drake took the stage. However, the reaction from the audience was not expected.
During the days leading up to Camp Flog Gnaw, rumors started to spread online that mysterious R&B singer Frank Ocean was supposed to arrive at the festival as the secret headliner. Frank Ocean has recently come out with new singles and opened a gay club in New York, and he is usually quiet with his music releases and career moves. In addition, rumors about this were further fueled when the news and media website Consequence of Sound accidentally put Frank Ocean’s name under a caption for a Camp Flog Gnaw advertisement that they did. Due to these rumors spreading like wildfire on the internet, many festival-goers had their expectations at an all-time high, because Frank Ocean rarely does live performances.
When Drake was revealed to be the secret headliner, many were shocked and disappointed. Drake asked the audience if he could keep going, and was met with many boos and people yelling, “We want Frank!” Drake handled the criticism very professionally, as he thanked the audience and ended his set fifteen minutes early. My friends and I were astonished to see this reaction. As Drake was on stage, we noticed that many people around us seemed not to be showing much of a response to his performance. In comparison to the people around us, my group and I were dancing, yelling the lyrics, and we were all around having a good time. As females in our early twenties, we grew up with Drake’s music since we were in middle school, so many of his songs gave us a lot of nostalgia.
After the festival, my friends and I discussed the ordeal as we were all processing what just happened. From our observations, we came to three conclusions as to why the audience reacted negatively
1. The audience’s expectations were set too high.
2. The audience consisted of many young teenagers who possibly weren’t very familiar with Drake’s music.
3. Camp Flog Gnaw was simply the wrong crowd for someone as popular and mainstream as him.
In my opinion, this whole ordeal goes to show the sense of entitlement that many festival-goers can have when attending a festival. As a secret headliner, the artist is not promised. Unfortunately, with secret headliner rumors come high expectations that attendees carry with them when going to the festival. Regardless of who the secret headliner may be, the reaction was not an appropriate response to an artist that was never promised. Tyler then took to Twitter to express his opinions about the reaction. He was angry, and rightfully so, as Tyler personally asked Drake to be at his festival. I predict that Tyler may not have a secret headliner for Camp Flog Gnaw ever again.
I THOUGHT BRINGING ONE OF THE BIGGEST ARTIST ON THE FUCKING PLANET TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL WAS FIRE! BUT FLIPSIDE, A LIL TONE DEAF KNOWING THE SPECIFIC CROWD IT DREW. SOME CREATED A NARRATIVE IN THEIR HEAD AND ACTED OUT LIKE ASSHOLES WHEN IT DIDNT COME TRUE AND I DONT FUCK WITH THAT— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) November 11, 2019
Despite all that happened, I have to admire Drake’s professionalism and his energy on stage. He was a terrific performer, and I would support him at one of his concerts. Hopefully, all parties included in this scandal learned important lessons from this ordeal.
Until next time!