Cruel World Fest 2024 Voted #1 Best Festival for Alternative Music

Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr performs at Cruel World Fest 2024, Pasadena, California on May 11, 2024. Photo Credit: Bruce Edwin

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen performs at Cruel World Fest 2024, Pasadena, California on May 11, 2024. Photo Credit: Bruce Edwin

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen performs at Cruel World Fest 2024, Pasadena, California on May 11, 2024. Photo Credit: Bruce Edwin

Cruel World Fest 2024 Official Lineup

Cruel World Fest 2024 Official Lineup

Cruel World Festival 2024 Amazes fans; Makes Music History with Duran Duran, Blondie, Ministry, Jesus and Mary Chain, Soft Cell, and more, voted #1 Best Fest

Subnormal magazine has voted Cruel World Festival “the #1 Greatest Festival in the world for alternative music.”

— Hollywood Sentinel

MALIBU, CA, UNITED STATES, May 17, 2024 / — Cruel World 2024 happened last Saturday, May 11, at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and was truly amazing, making music history, reports Subnormal Magazine. Headlining were Duran Duran, along with Blondie, Simple Minds, Ministry, Jesus and Mary Chain, Heaven 17, The Motels, Harsh Symmetry, Mission UK, Gary Numan, General Public, The Stranglers, The Faint, and more. With perfect weather, and an expertly produced event by legendary promoters Goldenvoice, it was, according to Subnormal, “an amazing festival that gave tens of thousands of fans one of the greatest moments of their life.” Subnormal magazine has voted Cruel World Festival “the #1 Best Festival in the world for alternative music.”

Cruel World Fest: The History

Cruel World Fest 2022

Created by Goldenvoice, owned by AEG, Cruel World Fest first debuted in Los Angeles County on May 14, 2022, featuring over 25 bands, with headlining sets by Morrissey, Bauhaus and Blondie, as well as Devo, the Psychedelic Furs, the Church, London After Midnight, Christian Death, and more. As tickets sold out for the first day, a second day with the same line-up was added for Sunday, May 15th. [1]

Cruel World Fest 2023

The second Cruel World Fest happened Saturday, May 20, 2023. Headliners included Siouxsie, along with Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, the Human League, Love and Rockets, Echo & the Bunnymen, Gary Numan, Gang of Four, Urban Heat, and many more. The Pasadena Fire Department shockingly shut down the festival early after reportedly seeing a few flashes of heat lightning during the beautiful evening as the sun set, with barely a cloud in the sky. This canceled Siouxsie, half of Iggy Pop’s set, and others on the smaller stages. Fans were heartbroken, and not one drop of rain ever even fell from the sky. Still, promoter Goldenvoice made incredible efforts to make up the damage caused by the City of Pasadena to fans. Goldenvoice acted swiftly, and with great integrity, re-booking another day for fans the following day, free of charge, to see Siouxsie and Iggy Pop perform, as well as Gary Numan. They even included free parking. [2]

Cruel World Fest 2024

The third iteration of Cruel World Fest took place on May 11, 2024, headlined by Duran Duran and featuring sets by Blondie, Adam Ant, Simple Minds, Ministry (performing a set consisting of songs from their first two albums, With Sympathy (1983) and Twitch (1986), Tones on Tail, Interpol, The Faint, Mission UK, English Beat, Harsh Symmetry, and more. Subnormal magazine called the entire show “legendary.”

Cruel World Fest has a great mix of old-school and newer, young bands. The crowd here therefore on May 11, 2024 was populated with both an older and younger crowd. While there was a heavy amount of an older crowd, there was still a good number of fans in their 30’s and 20’s that make Cruel World Fest—along with the newer artists, a more fun vibe than just a blast from the past for Gen-X’ers. One could also see a smattering of punk parents with their punk rock kids, and even some punk babies in leather jackets and spiked hair which was cute to see. The crowd here was very friendly, laid back, and polite. Those walking around were very careful not to step on the edges of blankets that many fans had brought they were sitting down on.

There is a core level or respect in the Cruel World Fest and general punk community that is not necessarily found in other music scenes, or particularly, at many sporting events. Drunk and out of control fans were not even seen at this Cruel World event, which was a nice surprise, considering the vast number of people attending. Pasadena Police were also laid back, did not bother anyone, and seemed at ease.

Cruel World Fest 2025

Subnormal Magazine will be publishing next week “How to Prepare for Cruel World Fest 2025” for fans new to the festival.

Visit now and next week for more of Cruel World Fest 2024 coverage.

Subnormal Magazine has also released its latest entertainment calendar this week, for the rest of 2024. An excerpt of that is here as follows:

(All locations are in LA unless otherwise noted).

Subnormal Entertainment Calendar, 2024


14-25. Cannes film festival, France + online

16. Royel Otis, Roxy

17. Warpaint, SF, Regency Ballroom

18. Just Like Heaven Fest, with Warpaint, Phantogram,

Postal Service, Tegan and Sara, others.

Brookside at the Rosebowl, Pasadena, CA.

18, 19. Beverly Hills Art Show

20. Kimbra, The Greek

21. Classical concerto with music of Kraftwerk, Disney Hall

23. Natalie Merchant, SB Bowl

30. Avril Levigne, SoFi

31. Sarah McLachlan, Hollywood Bowl


1–9. Greek Film Festival

5. The Exploited, Glass House

7. Emmy Awards

8. Echo and the Bunnymen, The Greek

10. The Damned with the Avengers, Glass House

14. Elvis Costello with Charlie Sexton, others, SB Bowl

15. Charlie XCX, The Shrine

16. Father’s Day

20. Summer Solstice

22. Twin Tribes, Novo

27. Stand-up Comedy: Trump / Biden debate, CNN, 6pm Pacific

29. Clan of Xymox, The Belasco

See the entire calendar at Subnormal Magazine.

Subnormal Magazine was the old-school punk rock, anarchistic magazine founded in the late 80’s, that was banned in most U.S. prisons due to claims that it would “start a riot.” It featured poetry, civil rights, human rights, and animal rights commentary, music scene reports, and exclusive interviews with bands including Bad Religion, Bauhaus, DRI, Death In June, Christian Death, The Damned, The Go Go’s, Jewel, The Cranberries, Sarah McLachlan, Social Distortion, Sonic Youth, and hundreds more. It is now found online where it has featured interviews with Nervo, Harsh Symmetry, Urban Heat, Rachel Amodeo, Bloody Mess, Noam Chomsky, and many more.



Cruel World Fest Official Instagram:

Works Cited: [1], [2] Wikipedia;

Bruce Edwin
Hollywood Sentinel Public Relations
+1 310-226-7176
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