Cruel World’s 2023 edition came to an early and abrupt end tonight in Pasadena, California, as festival organizers were forced to evacuate the crowd over safety concerns about severe weather and lightning before headliner Siouxsie could take the stage for her first U.S. performance in 15 years.
UPDATE: Siouxsie and Iggy Pop to play make-up sets at Cruel World festival site Sunday night
Sirius XM DJ Richard Blade, who is at the festival, tweeted that a severe weather alert was issued during Iggy Pop’s and The Human League’s sets — the last two performances before Siouxsie was to close out the day — which led police to order the festival closed to ensure attendees’ safety.
According to the Orange County Register newspaper, Iggy Pop was performing “The Passenger” when his microphone was cut and an announcement over the PA alerted attendees to leave. “OK, we have lightning, we need to evacuate the stage I’m told,” Iggy told the crowd, according to the newspaper.
Iggy Pop “The Passenger”
This is when the concert abruptly ended due to a severe weather warning. Which never seemed to happen.#SiouxsieSioux was set to go on directly following Iggy.
Not the end any of us expected.#CruelWorldFestival #CruelWorldFest#cruelworld2023 pic.twitter.com/v0sfdY9nDi
— Jake (the ‘80s never ended in my world) Rudh (@JakeRudh) May 21, 2023
Cruel World’s Twitter account first said, “The festival has been postponed until further notice. Please evacuate the festival site immediately. Use the nearest emergency exits. Stay tuned for updates.”
That tweet, though, was deleted and replaced with one that said, “Due to severe weather, please exit the event site and move to your vehicles or protected areas outside of the event site for safety. Stay tuned for updates.”
The Cruel World headlining slot had been the only U.S. date on Siouxsie’s summer tour, which is largely focused on Europe.
Promoter Goldenvoice’s ’80s alternative festival took place today at Brookside at the Rose Bowl and featured sets by the reunited Love and Rockets, Echo & The Bunnymen, Squeeze, Berlin, Gary Numan, Modern English, Gang of Four, ABC, The Vapors and more.
The performance at Cruel World was to be Siouxsie’s first live appearance in the United States since a 2008 tour in support of her solo debut Mantaray. She played her first show in 10 years earlier this month in Brussels.
Oh no! A severe weather alert was just issued for Pasadena – right in the middle of Iggy Pop and The Human League's sets, and the police have ordered the festival clised to ensure everyone's safety. Lost for words pic.twitter.com/CZ6uuOF6E1
— Richard Blade (@richardblade) May 21, 2023
It’s official: Siouxsie is not going on at Cruel World tonight. Outside the Rose Bowl, scores of embattled goths seek solace at the hot dog carts. 🌭
— Suzy Exposito (@HexPositive) May 21, 2023
Cruel World Festival was a great time until this happened pic.twitter.com/gJiwAiENNd
— Michael Escalante (@Magic_Mike777) May 21, 2023
Cruel World fest cancelled 5 songs into the Human League due to possible lightning strikes. No Siouxsie for me, but better that she didn’t get fried I suppose. Still got to see ABC, Love & Rockets, Boy Harsher, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Billy Idol ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/1w3yfIQdJm
— Meni (@MeniTsirbas) May 21, 2023
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Siouxsie, Love and Rockets, Iggy Pop, Adam Ant, Billy Idol playing Cruel World 2023
- Siouxsie expands live comeback with additional concerts in the U.K., Greece
- Siouxsie continues to expand 2023 touring plans with more European festival dates
- Siouxsie to play first London concert in more than a decade as 2023 tour slowly expands
- Siouxsie returns to the concert stage for first time in a decade — here’s setlist and video
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Only in California. I was there. A couple of lightening strikes a few counties away. No rain. No wind. Pure BS. A lot of very disappointed people, including myself. I came from out of state. Where I live, it’s rain or shine, the show goes on.
I have been working on concerts for over 40 years. I know the technical and producers. I was there and saw exactly what happened. A couple of lightning hits in the mountains – miles away and at much higher altitude – made the promoters nervous so they cancelled. This is because we live in the most litigation oriented society on the whole planet. I was there mid-audience for Iggy Pop. I saw the whole thing. I saw no lightning. My colleague was working backstage. He texted me that the Cruel World organizers wanted to cancel. Iggy and Siouxsie wanted to continue. If it was Florida or Colorado or somewhere where these storms wreak havoc I would be on the side of the promoters. I work on the electrical end and generators and lightning are a bad combination. But they kept all the lights up and screens running which tells me they were not concerned enough. Which draws the conclusion that the producers of Cruel World are lame and scared of lawyers so they opted to go over the top on safety. Not a drop of rain fell or delicate sound of thunder was heard. You be the judge.
I agree with you wholeheartedly but there was a lightning strike that was visible to us. Just one. In the mountains to the right of us in the audience. But that was it and no thunder. Closing down the show was totally premature, in my opinion. Also TWC had a severe weather warning popup for Pasadena but it had disappeared the moment we got to our cars.
Let’s be clear: there was no actual “extreme weather.” The promoters cut the PA – twice – during Iggy’s set, before finally cutting it a third time, and telling us to leave the venue and seek cover.
There was no cover to be sought.
My weather app showed 58 degrees F, and no precipitation in the forecast until Sunday afternoon, which was what actually happened. A light foggy mist was the only weather we encountered in the next 12 hours.
The organizers were very quick to pull the plug, and all they did was shift 70,000 people from the grass in front of the two stages to 70,000 people on the other side of the fence, waiting in a half-mile long line (that took two hours) to exit the property via shuttle buses that held about 40 people each. We weren’t able to leave the property until 11:45 PM, and there were thousands of people behind us still waiting for shuttles to get out. The walk to the official shuttle parking lot is 2.4 miles from the venue.
The Rose Bowl is in a wooded, residential neighborhood – there’s no transit nearby to get these people out.
So now the organizers have rescheduled the last two acts to play again tonight, when there is actual thunder and lightning in the forecast.