The Wasteland Weekend is bound to send any Mad Max fan into a frenzy!
On the last week of September, every year, the Mojave Desert sees what is called the “largest post-apocalyptic festival” in the world that transforms the desert grounds into a scene straight out of the 80’s action saga- Mad Max! The four day festival sees huge crowds gather in the desert and dive into a maniacal celebration fuelled with pimped-up cars, wacky costumes, steampunk inspired art and most of all a brilliant replica of a 2-storeyed Thunderdome!
What else could you ask for!
The premise of the festival is based on the fact that the people who come to The Wasteland are here to experience a barred and scorched planet. The festival recreates the perfect atmosphere the movies have built over the course of 20 years. The experience is one of that in which you’re surviving with what is left with other fellow revellers. That’s something everyone should get to experience we think, given that the end is probably not that far.
This year saw the 7th edition of the the festival and also a crowd of 2,500 people, the largest the festival has ever seen!
The festival has some norms you’ve got to follow or get ready to be banished! Being in proper and full attire is something that is appreciated by everyone. If you plan on just going there and gawking at everyone, you better not go at all. The festival consists of various themed tribes like Skullduggers and Vermin Vagabonds! (True Mad Max fashion)! Apparently attendees plan their costumes and their outrageous car-mods months in advance in hopes of grabbing some eye balls.
Over the years, fixtures of the Wasteland Weekend environment have emerged and included bounty hunting games, a bonfire dance pit, a film festival and a fire spinning area.
2015 saw the release of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road and that just fuelled the adrenaline in anyone who was planning on attending The Wasteland 2016. The movie was perfect homage to what the festival stands for and people took inspiration from the designs and the creativity emulated in the film! People put copious amounts of effort into building steam punk versions of cars to the point that they don’t even look like cars.
“The amount of skill and imagination out there when it comes to re-purposing discarded objects and rusted metal is just amazing,” says Adam Chilson Wasteland’s Co-Owner, Chief Of Operations, and Art Director. “We’re proud that we’ve helped create a venue for people to showcase it all.”
Guests at the festival included Vernon Wells, who played Wez in Mad Max 2, and Greg van Borssum, who was Ripsaw Imperator, principal fight choreographer and weapons adviser for Mad Max: Fury Road.
One of the biggest attractions at the festival has to be the monstrous “Thunderdome” inspired again from the movies. The Thunderdome is basically a steel semi-circular cage, which sees people suspended from the top and handed make-shift weapons to fight it out! It goes without saying that it gets really intense.
While some might be fascinated with the post-apocalyptic world that reflects the uncertainty in society, they consider it an optimistic development. People who go to the Wasteland believe that it is a spiritual experience as well. By making everything about survival after the world ends, they see it as a form of escapism and see nothing wrong with embracing it with open arms.
All in all, The Wasteland is a place where you can be anything and do anything that you want! When you’re there, forget about your current self and live like there’s no tomorrow (literally)!