The Cruel World festival will return to Southern California in 2023, promoters announced today, with a lineup that includes very rare live appearances by Siouxsie and a newly reunited Love and Rockets, as well as appearances by Iggy Pop, Echo & The Bunnymen, Adam Ant, Billy Idol and more.
Promoter Goldenvoice’s ’80s alternative festival will take place May 20 at Brookside at the Rose Bowl and also will feature The Human League, Gary Numan, Modern English, Gang of Four, ABC, The Vapors, The Motels and Animotion, plus more modern acts including Molcat Doma, Boy Harsher, The Soft Moon and more.
See full lineup below.
Tickets go on sale at 12 p.m. Pacific time Friday, Jan. 27 — register for the on-sale at cruelworldfest.com.
The performance at Cruel World will be Siouxsie’s first in 10 years, following two sets at the Yoko Ono-curated installment of the Meltdown festival in London in 2013, and it will be her first live appearance in the United States since a 2008 tour in support of her solo debut Mantaray. But it won’t be her only live set this year, as she’d already been announced to perform at the UK’s Latitude festival in July.
And Love and Rockets, which split in 1999, hasn’t performed live since 2008, when the trio reunited to play a couple warmup shows and three festival slots, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. The group’s reunion has been widely hoped for since the reformed Bauhaus — one of the headliners of the first Cruel World — split once again last summer when frontman Peter Murphy entered rehab, leaving fans to urge Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins to continue on as Love and Rockets.
Two of this year’s performers — Echo & The Bunnymen and Gary Numan — were on the original 2020 lineup. Numan’s name was absent when the festival was rescheduled to 2022, and the Bunnymen dropped out just days before the festival due to visa issues, but pledged to make the 2023 installment.
The inaugural Cruel World festival was announced on Feb. 11, 2020, and was set to take place May 2 of that year at The Grounds at Dignity Health Sports Park, the home of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, with a bill that also included Blondie, Devo, The Psychedelic Furs, The Church, Public Image Ltd. and more.
Just over a month later, though, as the pandemic began shutting down the live music industry, the festival was pushed to September and then, in late May, canceled altogether. Promoters resurrected Cruel World in 2022, and pulled off a two-weekend version of the festival at Brookside at the Rose Bowl that featured most of the originally announced lineup plus a few new additions, including The Damned.
Here’s the full lineup for Cruel World 2023:
Love and Rockets
Echo & The Bunnymen
The Human League
Gang of Four
The Soft Moon
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Cruel World festival — featuring Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo — adds 2nd date
- Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen on board for Cruel World 2022
- Cruel World back from the dead? Festival teases a spring 2022 comeback
- Goodbye, Cruel World: Festival with Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo is canceled
- Cruel World festival moved to September with Morrissey, Bauhaus and more still on board
- Cruel World festival appears to be postponed indefinitely — but details are scarce
- Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo top lineup of Cruel World festival in Los Angeles