Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Roughly 4,000 People Attended ‘Mad Max’ Themed Event: Wasteland Weekend

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Kaylah Vargas
I've been critically reviewing fandoms and geek culture for eight years. After spending four years of college focusing on literary analysis, I now apply that passion to my hobbies and love for the geekdom.

Have you ever thought about how you would survive in a post apocalyptic world? Or perhaps you have looked at Mad Max and thought, ‘Wow, what an epic concept!’.

Well, if you haven’t already heard of the event called Wasteland Weekend, you can wonder no more.

People from all over the world travel to this Mojave desert Event in California in order to experience the worlds largest post apocalyptic event. And as someone who has just gone for their first time, I can guarantee you that this event is as solid and epic as it gets.

Roughly 4,000 people came together for this Mad Max inspired festival. Where you literally camp out in the dusty desert with nothing but what you bring to survive. This year was their 10th anniversary after being created in 2010 (and one sort of unofficial event in 2009) by Karol Bartosynski, Jared Butler, and James Howard.

Here at this event, costumes are mandatory to keep the theme alive. Anyone caught looking too out of place will have someone chant at them “needs more dirt!”. Trust me, I know. A man had me read his cod piece that read “more dirt” before proceeding to cover my “too clean” trench coat with more dirt from the ground.

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Wasteland becomes home to many people. And while there are many mishaps, as with any event… here you find a community. It can become rough out there between the wind, dust, and heat. So people take care of one another. I have never met a more welcoming group. I received so much help from costuming, being fed, and being led around to various events and parties.

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There are lots of combat events from the Thunderdome to the Juggers, as well as sparring on the streets. A friend of mine entered into a battle with foam weapons right on the side of the road.


So many inventive and creative things to do and see. From made up games, to bartering, and looking at peoples home made vehicles and other creations. The bartering part is so much fun, you can start with a paperclip and end up bartering your way up to some armor! I saw vehichles made of shopping carts, lawn mowers, and even a surf board!


Tradition dictates that you get dubbed a Wasteland name which can happen in a matter of seconds or years. So be careful what you do or say or you may land an embarassing yet affectionate name such as I did.

Overall, Wasteland Weekend is full of limitless fun and I only experienced so much of it. I can definitely see why so many show up. Ten years and counting, come see what all the hype is about!

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