My family and I made it to Sick New World in Las Vegas for the May 13, 2023 festival and I’m ready to give my review of it. How did we end up wanting to go in the first place? I blame Chevelle.
There were plenty of both positives and negatives about the experience. I’ll also let you know if I thought it was worth going at the end.
Let’s get into this Sick New World review. I’ll start with the negatives because I like to end on a positive note.
1. The heat.
This is probably the first thing you’ll hear or read in every Sick New World 2023 review. We were in Las Vegas. In May. It’s a desert, and it’s hot there. I didn’t mind it too much. I woke up every day excited to see the sun and blue skies!
However, the problem with the heat was you couldn’t stay out in it too much at one time. So we had to head to the cooling-off spots. (I’ll talk about those next.) And because of that, we didn’t get to see a couple of the bands.
We heard them from our coolish turf-lined spot though.
(By the way, as soon as the sun went down, the weather was absolutely perfect.)
2. The cooling-off places were crowded.
On a positive note, the festival made sure there were a couple of large covered areas where you could get under the shade. There were also several fans with misters places throughout.
The downside is that the festival was freaking crowded and all of those places got filled up quickly.
3. The lines.
Did I mention the festival was freaking crowded? I don’t know how many thousands of people were there. I heard a figure of 80,000, but I’m not sure if that’s true. It sure felt like 80,000.
Because there were so many people, there were lines for things. We waited for what felt like eons to get our shaved ices. (Everyone wanted a shaved ice. See negative #1.)
A positive note that I’ll talk about soon is that the festival provided free water. (I can’t believe that providing free water is considered a positive, but you know how festivals and concerts are. They make a lot of money off their expensive-ass waters.)
The water station lines did get pretty long as the day went on, but they moved quickly.
4. Holy cow! The costs.
Besides the cost of our concert tickets (😭), the plane tickets (😭😭😭), and our hotel, everything at the festival was mega expensive.
I got 3 tacos for lunch for almost $20, and they were the tiniest tacos you’ve ever seen in your life. They were tacos for ants. With a shred of chicken on each one.
To be fair, they filled me up until dinner.
Our shaved ices were $8 each. We got some Liquid Death water for $5 each. At least we looked kind of cool drinking it.
(We were so thirsty after dinner and didn’t want to leave our spot for System of a Down, so I spent $20 for cold, fresh water. And it was glorious!)
5. The sound sucked sometimes.
Chevelle was our inspiration for going to this thing in the first place, but their sound kind of sucked! I’m not sure what was going on because other bands (like Papa Roach) sounded good. Maybe it was where we were standing. Maybe it was the wind. I don’t know, but it made me sad. (Not really. We still had fun listening to them!)
There was an issue with Korn too. We heard that the speakers were lowered during their performance. Someone told us it was because it was a little windy and for whatever reason (I’m not science-y, so I have no idea), the sound was blasting the people near the speakers.
So they lowered them and we poor losers in the back could barely hear. (On a positive note, we didn’t need earplugs.) Why couldn’t the people being blasted just move a little? That’s a mystery that will never be solved.
After the festival was over, we started reading about how other bands really had issues. Apparently, Sevendust lost power completely and only got to play 3 songs. Ice T’s band got screwed over with sound issues too.
(These are two bands that we really wanted to see. The next issue will explain why we didn’t.)
6. Bad timing.
There were So. Many. Bands. at this thing. A lot of people were complaining about this, and now I understand why. There were 3 main issues with having the festival packed with bands.
- The lower-tiered bands (basically anyone not Korn, Deftones, or System of a Down) only got about 30 minutes to play. (Unless you’re Sevendust and got even less time due to technical issues.)
- If there were technical issues, the bands had no time to fix them. And therefore got screwed. That’s why Ice T is right to rant. It wasn’t their fault there were technical difficulties. Yet, they had to finish at the same time anyway.
- There was an unsatisfying amount of Chevelle. They played 6 songs. (I’ll tell you what they were at the bottom.) 6. Songs. It felt like it was over before it even got started. They weren’t even the best 6 songs they could’ve chosen. (Sam & Pete – please consult with me next time. 😆)
Many people complaining said the festival should have been broken up into 2 or 3 days. For our situation, I liked that it was just 1 day. But they should have had way fewer bands and given them all more time.
7. It could have been Astroworld.
I didn’t hear of anything too bad happening at the festival. Some people passed out. They were probably drinking, which is just a bad combo with the intense heat.
I went into the medical tent at one point because my daughter needed Tylenol. There were a few people in there who looked very hot, but nothing too crazy.
(By the way, the medical personnel seemed very nice. The woman I talked to handed over my packs of Tylenol with a smile.)
There was one point in time when we were going to go to the main stage to watch Papa Roach. There was a long line of people filtering in, a long line of people filtering out and everyone else packed in there.
I wanted to get closer, but we could barely move. And we were still way in the back.
Did I mention…There. Were. So. Many. People?
I actually thought to myself, “Oh man. If anything happened up front, we’d all be toast.” Because you really couldn’t move. We would have been trampled. I understood how Astroworld happened.
My husband yelled at me “Head back!” and I nodded in agreement. There would be no getting closer for us that day!
(Except, we did get quite a bit closer for Chevelle. We headed over there a little early so we could get a decent spot and we stayed to the side in case any shenanigans happened.)
Now that we got all of the negatives out of the way, you may be thinking, “That sounds awful! I would never go to Sick New World!” Hold your horses. We’ve got the positives coming.
1. Easy to get in and out.
Even though there were a TON of people there, it was easy to get in and out of the festival. We stood in this long-ass line when we were first going in, but it moved fast.
We left at one point to go eat dinner. It was a painless process to get a wristband so we could be let back in.
2. Watering stations.
We covered these a little above, but there were a couple of large watering stations where you could fill your water bottle up. And it was a necessity to stay hydrated.
We went back to the watering stations several times. I think it was the only day on our trip when I felt fully hydrated, even though we were standing in the sweltering sun all day.
Yea, I’m going to talk about the bathrooms. I’m a female, after all. Bathrooms are important to us. I’ll keep it short.
The bathrooms were nice. They were clean, and there was staff in there making sure there was enough toilet paper and soap. I never had to wait in line, but it may have gotten busier later in the evening.
4. Cooling off stations and misters.
I talked about these a little above, but there were a good amount of cooling stations and fans with misters. But they did fill up as the day went on. It was tough to get a spot in the shade after a while.
5. Good vendors.
I thought the variety of vendors was good. We started with a smoothie in the morning, then I had my tiny tacos while the rest of the family had hot dogs. They had plenty of different options, including vegan options.
It just cost an arm and a half leg to buy anything.
6. 2 selfish positives.
I have 2 selfish positives that others may not agree with or didn’t get to experience.
- I freaking love Las Vegas! I think it’s such a fun place, and I was so excited to go again. (And we introduced our kids to Sin City. We are such great parents, aren’t we?)
- Our hotel was within walking distance of the festival, and that was quite convenient for us. (We stayed at Hilton Resorts World. It was very nice!)
7. Awesome bands.
Many of the bands at Sick New World are ones that my husband and I have been enjoying for 20+ years. So it was a dream lineup for us. It was nice to be able to see a bunch of our favorites in one place.
Of course, as mentioned above, the downside was that we missed some favorites. Sevendust, Stabbing Westward, and Body Count were all too close to the time that Chevelle played.
You don’t know how disappointed we were to miss those ones. Especially Stabbing Westward since we didn’t even know they were still around!
Our favorite bands that we saw were Papa Roach, Chevelle (duh), Korn, and System of a Down.
System of a Down KILLED it, but I’ll talk about them more in the next section.
8. Would We Go Again?
I said to my husband at one point, “Eh, I don’t know if the festival life is for me.” You see, we used to go to quite a few festivals. We went to many an Ozzfest, even including one in West Palm Beach, Florida. But you could get seats for those. It wasn’t all willy-nilly like Sick New World.
Seats are good. Willy-nilly is not as good. Especially now that we’re semi-old!
One thing changed my mind.
System of a Down.
OK, I was just telling you how we went to festivals back in the day. (But with seats. We loooovvveee seats!) The last time we saw System of a Down, it was at one of these festivals. It was many years ago.
My husband and I both remember how uninspiring they were. They seemed like they hated every minute of being on stage.
So we were a bit skeptical coming into Sick New World.
But the break did them some good.
Because they were fantastic. They played for almost 2 hours, and every song sounded great! (The sound issues that Korn had were fixed for System.)
Now, this was my son’s first-ever concert experience. (What a great first show, right? We truly are great parents! 😆) And he LOVED System! I was kind of surprised because SOAD is pretty weird. But they’re also creative geniuses, and I guess he recognized that.
So would we go back?
I don’t think we would make the trek again. But, I’m extremely happy that we went. If you get a chance to go, I would recommend it for the experience.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. Except for the fact that there wasn’t enough Chevelle. (Then again, there’s never enough Chevelle.)
Chevelle’s Sick New World Set List
- Sleep the Deep
- An Island
- Door to Door Cannibals
- Face to the Floor
- Send the Pain Below
- The Red
- Mars Simula
6 songs (plus Sleep the Deep). This set needed to be multiplied by at least 4.
Did You Go?
Did you go to Sick New World 2023? What was your experience like? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.
Chevelle has this AI chatbot thing that I signed up for (you can read about it here), and one of the things it allows you to do is check into concerts to try to get some random stuff.
I tried to do this in Las Vegas, but Mia laughed at me. It called me “bruh.” 😆
I’ll try again at their next show and let you know how it goes!