The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

 

Article by: Geek Girl Alyssa Kollgaard
Photos by: JaW Images Art & Photography

Decades of film, TV, gaming, tabletop and novels have been touting 2020 as the year of cyberpunk Ė and so far, it seems they were all right. Weíve got the upcoming (eventual) release of Cyberpunk 2077, the recently released second season of Altered Carbon, and most exciting of all, a new project from the team that brought us 10 years of the fully immersive post-apocalyptic festival Wasteland Weekend. The sci fi and cyberpunk version is called Neotropolis, and its inaugural year is fast approaching this April. Coming off their recent success with the popup bar of the same name, the crew also recently tested the cyberpunk waters this past weekend with their annual Wastelander Ball. While previously years have focused exclusively on the post-apocalyptic genre, this year the team opted for a mashup with cyberpunk to preview some of the fantastic set dec that will be coming to the desert in April.

The world-famous Globe Theater in DTLA has been home to many costumed masquerade balls Ė each year it is the stage for both the Edwardian Ball and Vampire Ball and has been home to other fantasy masquerades such as Myth Masque and Labyrinth (although not in recent years). Itís a beautiful space that dozens of teams have used as their canvas, decorating across a variety of themes and genres.

While many have done this very successfully, I canít honestly say Iíve enjoyed being in the space for the majority Ė most teams prioritize making money over providing a truly enjoyable experience for their patrons, and tend to oversell to the point that attendees canít appreciate the immersion. The space Ė while accommodating - is generally packed to the point that heavily costumed patrons canít dance, or view performances, or appreciate set dec, or even really move around; I was fully prepared to bail on the Wastelander Ball by 10pm to avoid the customary crowds. The Wasteland crew, however, doesnít fit the typical Los Angeles event promotion mold. They have thoughtfully curated and cultivated a crowd of like-minded creatives, and I was actually able to enjoy the company of my peers and the space our community had once again come together to collectively build.

The Globe has 3 levels Ė the downstairs area was decorated all in cyberpunk aesthetic, using many of the pieces that will be making up MegaBlock01 at the upcoming Neotropolis event. Retro future furniture, kitschy UV signage, an airbrushing makeup station run by Marky Makeup (AKA Cosmech), and previews of some of the upcoming factions that will be attending Neotropolis all made an appearance. Resident cyberpunk android go-go staple Chromegirl danced to thoughtful curations from DJs (and so many fun music opportunities that fit the cyberpunk vibe)! On the main floor, performances from Wasteland staples like rock band AHTCK, Marley Munroe and bellydance troupe Hellís Sirens dazzled us from the stage. Upstairs, the traditional photo booth snapped photos of people in their finest revelry. And the costumes.

When the event first announced it would be featuring BOTH cyberpunk and post-apocalyptica, there was understandably some hesitation. While there is a ton of crossover between the communities and they both fall under the umbrella of dystopia/dark future, the aesthetics are pretty at odds with one another. I wasnít sure how I would feel about seeing them both in the same place, but something about it worked. While I absolutely think the event could have been split into two separate evenings, the whimsy of a masquerade made for a really interesting fusion of ideas. Some wore post-apocalyptic ensembles, some cyberpunk, and some a mix of the two. The costume guidelines are much looser for the balls than for the festivals themselves (which focus on heavy immersion and make more sense as separate experiences), allowing more range of creative expression. And people, as always, brought their A game.

The crew has been releasing some truly spectacular teasers for what to expect for the main event in April, and seeing some of it in person makes it feel closer and more real than ever. Once again the community has come together to build a beautiful new playground, something wholly unlike has ever been seen before. If youíre into cyberpunk as a genre, then GET ON BOARD THIS TRAIN. GET HYPED. You can get in on the ground floor of the event that is absolutely going to change the face of a subgenre.

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

The Wastelanders Ball 2020

Article by: Geek Girl Alyssa Kollgaard

Photos by: JaW Images Art & Photography

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March 06 2020



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