This might be the next big thing. If you are anything like me you constantly dream about the apocalypse in various forms; pandemic, zombies, another ice age, apes taking over civilization, and of course a nuclear wasteland like we have seen in any and all of the Mad Max films. Well luckily, we are not the only like minded thinkers. I just learned that this past weekend 9/24-9/27 was the 5th annual Wasteland Weekend, in H Park, California City, CA. I will let that sink in for a moment. Freaking out yet? ME TOO! There is a whole weekend event dedicated to immersing people in visions of a desert apocalypse!
For a brief history in 2010 the first Wasteland Weekend event was born. It is a 4 day desert festival themed with post-apocalyptic everything, heavily influenced by Mad Max; also known as Heaven. This event has grown from a modest 400 person gathering in 2010 to having an attendance of over 2,500 people in 2015, with a film festival, a full lineup of musicians, custom made apocalyptic car shows, and of course a chance to really LIVE the apocalyptic lifestyle for a short time.
I can’t believe Wasteland Weekend 2015 has already passed us by, but judging by the growth of this event over the past 5 years I am sure that there will be another in 2016. Here are some quick stats about all that 2015’s weekend in the deserts of California had to offer.
- Ticket Prices $110 general admission (there were discounts for early registration so keep your eyes peeled, the earlier you register the cheaper it is!)
- The event is 18+ and you will need a valid I.D. in order to enter. Wristbands of different styles will be given to those 21+ and of course- no trading or giving anyone underage your 21+ wristband. That is a sure fire way to see yourself out the door.
- YOU CAN BRING YOUR DOG for an extra fee of $25, there are of course leash regulations and dear god if you don’t clean up after them it’s straight to the Thunderdome with you!
- There are extra fees for certain vehicles, but as long as the vehicle rules are adhered to bringing your car/bike/truck/war machine should be all good. Please note that this is highlighted in the vehicle rules section *We shouldn’t have to say this, but do NOT drag anyone behind your vehicle, no matter what the speed.
- The whole event is BYOB. I repeat BYOB, which means your bank account won’t be drained by inflated alcohol prices! But also that if you run out of booze on the first night you’ll have to make a trip off site to buy more so bring what you think you’ll need (then bring more because you’re definitely underestimating your own abilities).
- While it may be themed as an apocalyptic wasteland, this is still a place with rules and regulations. California’s laws about harassment, drug use, fire arms, theft, and vandalism still stand, and violators will be removed and prosecuted.
- There is plenty of open camping space, but you can and are encouraged to look into their Tribes. Some are closed tribes that you won’t be able to join, but some you can. Or you can create your own tribe! There are certain discounts for tribes (basically a group discount) but also, depending on the size and level of commitment to the theme, you may receive perks such as preferred campsites if you are involved in or create one. Also here are some campsite tips from their website, and let me just say this isn’t your average pop up tent weekend!
- If you have a group, and the cash, you can rent a private porto potty for your group… YES PLEASE. I know we are pretending it’s the end of the world, but PRETEND is the key word. I know that personally I would prefer to do a whole slew of terrible things rather than go into a public porto potty at a 4 day event in the middle of the desert. All the more reason to get a group together, and get your campsite private pooping quarters.
- While you won’t be booted out for not wearing a costume, it is highly encouraged that you fully immerse yourself in the experience by wearing one; and really, who turns down another opportunity to wear a costume? Don’t think you’re great at making your own? You’re wrong! Check out these apocalyptic costume tips helpful for anyone from a novice to experienced cosplayer.
While I am devastated that I didn’t know about this magical weekend sooner, I can’t WAIT for 2016 dates to come out. I know that I definitely hope to be in the crowd for next year’s Wasteland Weekend.