Gearing up for the 7th annual edition of Wasteland Weekend at the world’s first all-post-apocalyptic car show.
Since 2010, thousands of end of the world devotees have converged in the Mojave Desert to attend Wasteland Weekend, a 4-day post-apocalyptic fully immersive Mad Max-style party near California City, CA.
This was the first ever “Wasteland World Car Show” and it didn’t disappoint.
Held in the parking lot of Alpine Village, home to the oldest and largest Oktoberfest in Los Angeles, the event included multiple decked out vehicles…
…and lots of awesome Wastelanders in full head-to-toe apocalyptic gear.
Everyone was extremely friendly…
…and were more than happy to pose with the average folk who were there to check out the incredible vehicles and get a taste for what this post-apocalyptic world is all about.
The origins of Wasteland Weekend can be traced back to the first ever Mad Max fan event held in the United States. “Roadwar USA” was organized by Karol Bartoszynski in 2004. It involved Mad Max fans cruising down California’s 101 freeway alongside an oil tanker and vehicles inspired by the movie.
Roadwar get-togethers continued over the years and in 2009 an event promoter from the pirate fan community, Scarlett Harlott stepped forward and made a Mad Max desert event happen. Karol soon joined forces with the organization to create “Road Warrior Weekend,” a small, but undeniably fun event that provided the proof of concept for a much larger vision.
That first event in 2009 had been billed as a one-time event but the seed had been planted and a small group of attendees began serious discussions for continuing the event in the future.
Two attendees, Jared Butler and James Howard, took the reigns and set their sights for their own Mad Max desert festival in 2010.
Joined by other RWW veterans they set out to create something that had never been done before: A fully-immersive fan event that would really feel like living inside a movie.
In 2010 their vision became a reality, Wasteland Weekend would be heavily influenced by the Mad Max films along with post-apocalyptic pop culture.
That first year was only attended by about 400 people but by 2011 the event nearly doubled in size.
2011 was also the first year that the iconic “Wasteland Gates” were used, which separated the completely themed “Wasteland City” from the less-strictly enforced camping and parking area for those attendees who may have had their costumes ready, but did not possess fully-themed cars or campsites.
The “tribe” concept was also launched in 2011 which has become an officially-encouraged aspect of the event.
The event has continued to grow each year with more lavish campsites, vehicles, and costumes.
By 2014 there were over 100 custom-made vehicles driven out to the event, with some of those on display at Saturday’s car show.
I’ve been interested in Wasteland Weekend for awhile now, so it was nice to be able to walk around and talk to some of the people that attend the event each year.
So will I end up becoming a full fledged Wastelander? Probably. I really enjoyed everything I saw at the car show and can totally see myself joining a tribe, making some kick ass gear and spending some more quality time with these amazing creative people in the desert. Wasteland Weekend 2016 will take place September 22 – 25, 2016. Visit their website or facebook page for more information.