PASADENA—Music fans gathered from all over the USA and the world to attend the Cruel World Festival. The music was filled with angst and themes of gloom, however, the setting was a typical, bright spring weekend for the Cruel World Festival. At Brookside golf course outside the Rose Bowl on Saturday and Sunday May 14 and May 15, 80s New Wave, and every genre one can imagine evoking dark makeup and waves of sadness as Morrissey, Blondie and the Psychedelic Furs to name a few headlined the festival.
Other acts standing out in the scorching heat included Bauhaus, the Violet Femmes and Devo. Berlin singer Teri Nunn was dynamic, she was dressed in all black shiny sequins. Being carried through the masses while singing the classic, “Take My Breath Away.” It was inspiring as she dedicated it to her teenage daughter who proclaimed ” She did know that her Mom used to be cool.”
Concert promoter Goldenvoice, who also brought you the Coachella Festival and Stagecoach, staged a great weekend of nostalgic fun with a great lineup. On Sunday, the weather agreed to a favorable extent, quite the opposite was true on Saturday as temperatures soared into the upper 90s.
This did not diminish the fans who were loud and appreciative of the sets that their favorite musicians played. Nearby resident from Pasadena, Gilda Arenas had this to say about her favorite band Blondie, “They were great and sounded the same as when I saw them in 1994.”
The crowd also was a sea of black for the most part, and quite a few of them were not even close to the AARP registration age. Most of those we talked with said Bauhaus was the best band, however, Berlin, and Morrissey had their ardent supporters as well. Larry Johnson, 48, from Los Angeles had this to say about the festival.
“Everyone was really nice and it wasn’t typical of other festivals I have attended.” This seemed to be a common theme and their was most assuredly a feeling of kinship among the concert attendees. In addition, this was the first large outdoor festival held in the Los Angeles since the onset of COVID-19. Everyone was ready to kick up their heels and dance to the music, and dance they did.
With the success of this festival you can be sure there will be a Cruel World 2023!