Usher, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ludacris lead lineup for new SoCal music festival

Usher is one of several artists set to perform at Lovers & Friends.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A week after announcing a dream lineup for its forthcoming Cruel World music festival, promoter Goldenvoice has unveiled yet another star-studded concert event coming to Southern California.

Lovers & Friends Festival, set to take place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson on May 9, has tapped Ms. Lauryn Hill, Usher, Ludacris, Lil Jon, TLC, Jhené Aiko, Summer Walker, Megan Thee Stallion and more artists for its stacked lineup. Lovers & Friends will arrive just one week after the 80s-inspired Cruel World acts take the stadium on May 2.

With both Lovers & Friends and Cruel World, Goldenvoice appears to have cornered the market for one-day nostalgia extravaganzas this summer; tickets for the latter are sold out on the event’s website.

But questions about the veracity of the Lovers & Friends lineup are giving some fans pause.


As several fans noted, a number of major acts appear to be either booked at different festivals across the country that day or have denied ever being booked to perform. On May 9, Megan Thee Stallion and T-Pain have previously scheduled sets at Washington, D.C.’s, Broccoli City Fest and Miami’s Rolling Loud, respectively; Twista, Mase and Lil’ Kim have posted on social media that they were not actually booked to perform at Lovers & Friends.

Representatives for Goldenvoice did not immediately return requests for comment or clarification.

Goldenvoice’s latest fest is a testament to a growing demand for urban retro acts in the wake of similar ventures, such as Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour.

In the post-streaming world, when music — old and new — is at everyone’s fingertips, live collaborative performances have proven an effective means of staying relevant in a rapidly evolving industry landscape.

Rounding out the list of performers for Lovers & Friends are Nelly, Sean Paul, Brandy, Monica, Ja Rule and Fat Joe, SWV, Saweetie, Foxy Brown, Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Next, 112, Mario, Eve, Trina, Tweet, Amerie, Cam’ron, Mike Jones, Montell Jordan, UMI, Jon B., Baby Bash, Frankie J and Nina Sky.

Promoter Goldenvoice announced a new one-day festival called Cruel World dedicated to ’80s new wave, goth and post-punk, held in Carson on May 2.

Feb. 11, 2020

Among those set to take the stage at Cruel World the week prior are Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Public Image Ltd and two dozen more.

Tickets for Lovers & Friends, starting at $145, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. PST. A presale starts Thursday at 10 a.m. PST; fans can register for that via the concert’s website.