Cruel World curates classic alternative on a grand scale
The sophomore congregation of classic alt, post-punk, and legendary goth of Cruel World included a few important caveats. The 2023 edition was headlined by the tandem of Siouxsie and the ageless Iggy Pop - the former of which would perform her first U.S. live set in some 15 years.
Additionally, Cruel World's stacked supporting roster touted another major revival, featuring the first live set from Love and Rockets in 14 years and serving as the beginning of what Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins have shared is the final run of shows as a band as a touring band.
Faced with unexpected weather issues, the festival date was cut short as both Iggy and Siouxsie were forced to delay their full sets to the following day as evacuation orders were put into place to end day one.
Despite the unanticipated adversity, the run of show proved pure spectacle as the succession of legendary acts like Billy Idol, Echo & the Bunnymen, Gary Numan, Squeeze and Gang of Four submitted stellar performances of some of classic alternative's most enduring tracks.
An important distinction specific to Cruel World is how the festival celebrates the classics while bridging the era with the contemporary. The festival's earlier portion was bolstered by a focused pool of modern post-punk, synthwave practitioners like The Soft Moon, Boy Harsher, Molchat Doma and Twin Tribes - all of whom offer tribute to the sound of their predecessors, while asserting their own identity as genre contributors.
Check the comprehensive gallery of images from the 2023 edition of Cruel World below.