“Please evacuate the festival site immediately”

Siouxsie Sioux in her last public concert before the current comeback tour at London's Meltdown Festival 2013. (Photo: Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images)

Siouxsie Sioux in her last public concert before the current comeback tour at London’s Meltdown Festival 2013. (Photo: Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images)

Cruel World — the post-punk festival held at Brookside Golf Course adjacent to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. — unfortunately made a name for itself on Saturday when the second annual event was cut short due to the threat of inclement weather. The plug was pulled less than 30 minutes before legendary gothmother Siouxsie Sioux was about to headline the main stage for what would have been her first US gig in 15 years. It was her only scheduled North American date on the current comeback tour, which kicked off May 3 in Brussels, Belgium. (UPDATE: At 3 a.m. PT on Sunday, Cruel World announced via social media that both Siouxsie Sioux and Iggy Pop’s shows have been rescheduled for Sunday night, May 21.)

Proto-punk pioneer Iggy Pop, accompanied by Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme’s dancing son Josh Homme, was halfway through his set on the Outsiders stage when the festival came to an abrupt end. (Ironically, he was singing “The Passenger,” a song that Siouxsie and her former band, The Banshees, covered in 1987, and many fans were hoping for a surprise Pop/Sioux duet.) Two Lightning Bolts they had already ruined the sky in Pop’s time. he shows, making his sound come out for about 20 seconds each time; when a third audio glitch occurred during “The Passenger” (seen toward the end of the video below, shot by Minneapolis radio and club DJ Jake Rudh), a voice blared over the PA announcing that the Brookside lot was being evacuated because of the proximity. “bad weather.” Along the grounds of the Lost Boys stage, UK synthpop act Human League’s theatrical film was also stopped.

Pop told shocked onlookers: ‘OK, we’ve got lightning. We have to evacuate the scene, I was told.” Many fans booed and shouted “Shit!” and threw debris at the scene, but for the most part everyone settled down in an orderly fashion once the sad reality of the situation set in.

At first, Cruel World’s official Twitter account posted: “The festival has been postponed until further notice. Please evacuate the festival site immediately. Use the nearest emergency exits. Stay tuned for updates.” However, that tweet was soon deleted as well substituted with one that had no mention of postponement, simply stating: “Due to the severe weather, please leave the event site and move to vehicles or protected areas outside the event site for safety. Stay tuned for updates.”

A tweet posted at 9:24 PM Pacific Time by National Meteorological Service announced: “We are tracking a strong storm moving southwest near Mt. Wilson to between Pasadena and Monrovia. This storm may produce strong gusty winds, heavy rain, lightning and small hail.” That storm never made it to the Brookside area, however, and the threat appeared to subside shortly after the Sioux would have taken the stage at 9:55 p.m.—further infuriating fans.

At the time of writing, representatives for Cruel World’s promoter AEG/Goldvoice have not responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for clarification on why the festival, which was announced as taking place “rain or shine,” was canceled so suddenly. However, it has been confirmed that both Sioux and Pop will perform make-up shows on Sunday. “At the direction of the Pasadena Fire Department, the scene was evacuated due to unsafe weather conditions and lightning strikes in the area as verified by the National Weather Service. Siouxsie and Iggy Pop will return to Brookside at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, May 21. , with Siouxsie performing an extended set. This will be her only North American show in 2023. All types of Saturday passes will have access to the venue,” the festival’s official Instagram account announced Sunday morning. The Human League is apparently not part of this rescheduling.

Sioux weren’t the only Cruel World 2023 artists fans didn’t see on Saturday: Earlier in the week, both Motels and Adam Ant pulled out due to “unforeseen circumstances.” However, these artists were replaced by two pleasers, Berlin and Squeeze. And Saturday’s participants made get to witness the exciting return of a seminal act that hasn’t played live in years, Love and Rockets. The British college-rock trio were the most anticipated film act apart from Siouxsie, and they wowed with an 11-song Outsiders set just before Iggy’s doomed performance, which included their top three hits Billboard Hot 100 hit “So Alive” and their famous cover of the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion.” Band members Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins played last year’s inaugural Cruel World festival as three-quarters of Bauhaus, but the legendary goth band’s reunion was put on hold when frontman Peter Murphy entered rehab. This year’s Cruel World Festival marked the first time Ash, J and Haskins performed as Love and Rockets since 2008.

Other highlights from Cruel World 2023, before the festival’s abrupt and disappointing end, included a pop ‘n’ soul revue full of hits from the golden tuxedoed New Romantics ABC and an intense and visceral set from dance pioneers punk Gang of Four. Billy Idol, Gary Numan, Echo & the Bunnymen, Modern English and The Vapors also played, as well as newer darkwave acts such as Boy Harsher, Twin Tribes, Riki and Glass Spells.

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