FEBRUARY 19, 2020 | By Jimmy Alvarez

Hopefully you got your tickets, because the Cruel World Festival is going to be one of the most epic shows we’ve seen to hit the Southland in some time. That says a lot for a show hitting the city of Angels. It should come as no shock the Goldenvoice inaugural 80’s festival took less than an hour to sell out.

If you were lucky enough to grab tickets then get your skinny jeans, skinny ties, creepers and pomade out because this lineup is simply unreal. The festival will be held on Saturday, May 2nd at Dignity Health Sports Park. The lineup features icons of the New Wave | New Romantic and Alternative music eras. Some of the artists and bands featured at the event include Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, DEVO, Echo & The Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Violent Femmes, English Beat, Bad Manners, Berlin, Missing Persons, Gary Numan and a lot more.

Everyday is Like Sunday by Morrissey

So what is it about this era and this genre that drives people so cartoon-crazy? For that, we really need to look back in order to look forward. The 80’s was a period that was best described as the decade of decadence. There was lots going on in the world of politics, which I guess is no different than today. However, this period was captured and framed best by John Hughes films, Mtv and all the great- great music from all genres.

In general we all connect with some sort of media, be it movies, tv, music or anything online. Back in the day, it was dealer’s choice of who you wanted to connect with. It could’ve been any of Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson or Anthony Michael Hall’s characters in Breakfast Club, or maybe you loved Molly in Pretty In Pink, or maybe you were about Nicolas Cage in Valley Girl; then there’s always Ferris Bueller and Some Kind of Wonderful. Given you had someone you felt kinship with in these timeless films, it was the music that was the glue that to this day keeps us joined at the hip.

Don’t You (Forget About me) by Simple Minds from Breakfast Club

No doubt, the 80’s was a special time for music. So-much-so, it propelled a small station in Pasadena called KROQ FM to becoming one of the Titans of the broadcasting world. That place was so special, they had DJ’s that we knew by one name. There was Raymondo and Blade, Jed, Rodney, Dusty, April, and of course there was Snakeskin. Fredrick J. Snakeskin was his on-air name, but we all got to know this iconic voice of the airwaves by his humor, wit and insanely broad knowledge of music. We all just knew him as Freddy.

Freddy with Jed The Fish back in the day

Recently, we caught up with Freddy and talked about the Cruel World Fest and all things 80’s. It was good to catch up with him, he’s always cheerful and that distinctive voice, you always feel like you’re chatting with royalty. We asked Freddy the obvious question, why are the 80’s such a lightning rod when it comes to uber-fests like Cruel World. Freddy laughed and said he thinks it’s because music in general is like a time machine. Hearing any song can transport us to any place at any point in our lives. If you grew up in the 80’s it can take you back to that time. Most likely when things were simpler for you. You know, no mortgage or rent payments… no taxes or business filings to take care of. It was just a time when we could enjoy life and nothing in particular. You could enjoy the music you loved without having the weight of the world on you. Freddy went on to say, music is a great communicator and can speak to our hearts, minds and souls. In the end, we feel youthful and we just can’t help but smile sometimes. That’s what this era and festivals like Cruel World do for us, it makes us smile.

Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen
Today, life is good for Freddy, he has 106.7 reasons to smile. Thanks to a push by former MD Gene Sandbloom, KROQ HD 2 | Roq of the 80’s is broadcasting 24/7 on RADIO.COM. Snakeskin anchors daily duties with another icon, Tami Heide. Together the dynamic duo continue to bring us the tunes that ushered in a new generation of music and music fans.

With stations like KROQ still pumping out the tunes we grew up with, and other stations that champion 80’s style Flashback or Resurrection programming, we are still fascinated with this era. Now Goldenvoice is embarking on this ambitious inaugural show that will give people what they want. That is, the bands and artists we grew up with, playing the music that still speaks to us. Who knows, you just never know how places like KROQ HD2 will cover the event, whatever they do, I’m sure it’ll be special.

No matter who you want to see, Bauhaus, English Beat, Blondie , DEVO or whoever, with this lineup, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life.

Ziggy Stardust by Bauhaus

For more information on Cruel World Fest


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