Wasteland Weekend 2012
Article by: Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda recently attended the Wasteland Weekend! This post-apocalyptic event is held yearly over four days in the deserts of California.
To get to Wasteland Weekend is about a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles, the last 10 or so miles of which are all through desert on dirt roads marked by only by tires and no names. It looks like this area barely has seen human life, until we pull up to gutted blue car, on fire, guarded by two men in full post-apocalyptic regalia. I can already tell this is going to be a totally different kind of event.
Wasteland Weekend is a 4 day Mad Max themed festival in the deserts of California. It's been compared to Burning Man, but it's different in a lot of ways. Wasteland Weekend is a fully immersive themed event. Artists had been working for weeks on building the sets that were then set up in the desert – a Thunderdome where fire spinning and battles and performances took place, the Atomic Bar, and the Last Chance Casino, where people gambled with bottle caps they earned by performing tricks for the bartenders and casino hosts. Around the main area were stages that had Djs, live bands (mostly metal and rock bands), burlesque shows, and staged battles. Vendors were set up during the day as well as several heavily themed camps – At one point, I even saw a guy roasting an entire goat on a spit at his camp. There was also a dance area hosted by the Dystopian Studios that kept music going until the odd hours of the night. The Juggers of the Wasteland held games throughout the weekend – apparently some sort of full-contact football with padded weapons.
Outside of the main area was a camping area for people who did not participate in the fully themed campsites – it was a pretty sizable tent city. The event was attended mainly by Ren Faire folk (the SCA had a fairly strong presence there), Civil War re-enactors, costumers, performers, metalheads, survivalists, gearheads, and geeks. I talked to people who had come from as far as Berlin, Poland and Sweden for the event. It was a different kind of geek event to be sure, but there was never a single moment where I felt like I wasn't part of the movie and the world that it had created. Not for the geeks who are faint of heart, as camping in the desert for 4 days definitely has it's downsides, but for anyone who is interested in a completely immersive post-apocalyptic experience, you can't miss out. Make sure to say hi to me next year – I'll be back for sure. :)
Photography by: Brandon Bradley
Article by: Geek Girl Zelda
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October 19 2012