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Cruel World Festival Interrupted Just Before Siouxsie’s Performance

Cruel World Festival
Gary Numan at Cruel World Festival

Severe weather in California? It never happens! It nevertheless happened last night, and, in the middle of Iggy Pop’s set, we were told to evacuate the grounds of the Cruel World festival, in Pasadena. Two red screens on each side of the stage read: “Severe weather alert, inclement weather approaching, please move quickly and calmly to the nearest exit and seek shelter outside of the festival.”

For many long minutes, nobody was moving, and nobody wanted to move since, except for one lightning in the sky, the weather didn’t seem menacing at all and everyone was in disbelief. “This is so bullshit!” I heard everywhere around me. I remember a similar situation at Desert Daze years ago when Tame Impala’s set was brutally interrupted by torrential rain, but yesterday was not even close: it was not raining (and it never rained), the sky was clear, and except for a bit of night fog, people couldn’t believe the weather was interrupting the show that they had been waiting for with such anticipation. Many of them had driven for hours or even flown from far away to see the return of the legendary Siouxsie Sioux who was headlining the Outsider stage. It was (and still is) her first US concert in 15 years and her only scheduled North America date on her current comeback tour. So, imagine the disappointment, to say the least. After the announcement was made, the crowd started screaming “Siouxsie! Siouxsie!” … a call that soon turned into “Refund! Refund!”

The plug was pulled just before Siouxsie’s set, around 9:15 pm as Iggy had just sung “The Passenger,” a song everyone was hoping to turn into a duo with Siouxsie. I had been standing at the same spot since 12 pm, but a few people around me had arrived at the site of the festival at 4:30 am, which has to be beyond dedication for the post-punk goddess.

However, Goldenvoice had to obey the fire department, they had no choice. The risk was real as the weather is very unpredictable, even though this thunderstorm didn’t turn out to be the announced “strong thunderstorm” that “may produce strong gusty winds, heavy downpours, lightning, and small hail by the National Weather Service.

In the middle of the night, Goldenvoice announced a makeup show for today: both Siouxsie and Iggy Pop’s shows have been rescheduled for Sunday evening, May 21. Doors will open at 5 pm. Obviously, you have many people complaining they cannot make it for different reasons, but you cannot satisfy everyone in these difficult situations, and we have to applaud Goldenvoice for this fast move. I wonder what will happen to all these tickets that cannot be reused: the resale market may be in full swing this afternoon.

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