Grimes Apologizes for Tech Issues and ‘Sonic Chaos’ During Coachella Set

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella

Grimes on Sunday apologized for giving what some have dubbed “the worst Coachella performance of all time”—but stopped short of issuing a mea culpa, insisting that the “sonic chaos” that left her screaming with frustration onstage this weekend wasn’t her fault.

The 36-year-old musician, real name Claire Boucher, was forced to troubleshoot her equipment in real time during the second half of her 50-minute DJ set on Saturday night, struggling to do the mental calculations required to fix backing tracks that were playing at twice their usual speed.

“This is a difficult thing to explain but we’re having a major technical error,” a visibly frustrated Boucher told her audience at one point. “Don’t judge me for being bad at calculating things.”

After complaining she wasn’t “good enough at math for this shit,” Boucher said she accepted “full responsibility” for the mixing issues and ended the set early.

Hours later, Boucher took to her baby daddy’s website, X, to apologize, ask for forgiveness, and explain what had gone wrong in more detail.

“I wanted to come back rly strong and usually I always handle every aspect of my show myself,” she began, going on to explain that, “to save time,” she’d let someone else handle “essential things” like song speed and the track listing for her set in the Sahara tent.

“i had a bad feeling beforehand not having run everything thru the cdjs myself and tho I flagged it I wasn’t insistent,” Boucher said.

The Canadian artist explained that she’d learned a “big lesson” from the experience, which was a mix of “if u want it done right, do it yrself”; “be a cunt even if ppl feel bad”; and “probably pretend it’s fine and engage w the crowd rather than spend a whole show slumped over the desk trying to fix software when ur meant to be entertaining.”

Though Boucher said she’d spend months working on her set and wasn’t “in the best mood” after the disaster, she promised that she wouldn’t let it happen again.

“I will personally organize all the files next week,” she said, adding later that “next week will be flawless, everything will run thru my hands.”

Despite the calamitous end to her set in Indio, Boucher began with a bang, riding in on a giant mechanical spider. Nor was hers the only act to get bogged down by technical difficulties, with SFGATE reporting that Japanese House and Lana Del Rey had both powered through equipment malfunctions during their sets a day prior.

Boucher will be back onstage at Coachella next Saturday, April 20.

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