The Wastelanders Ball 2017
Article by: Geek Girl Mistress Zelda|
This past weekend marked the first annual Wastelander’s Ball, from the same creative event team that has been putting on Wasteland Weekend since 2010. Recently, the team has been expanding into smaller post-apocalyptic events throughout the year – car shows, shopping events, and community-run parties and camping events.
What began as a community that came together over a debaucherous weekend once per year has since grown into close-knit family that lives the lifestyle together year round. Wastelander’s Ball was the next step in cultivating our post-apocalyptic tribe.
While initially conceived as an event for Wasteland Weekend itself, Wastelander’s Ball found legs of its own. Recently, costumed soirees have been finding increasingly more ground in Los Angeles, but always tend to have fantastical and whimsical themes – Labyrinth, Myth Masque, Edwardian Ball, Endless Vampire Ball. Wastelander’s Ball is the first costumed masquerade with a grittier, dirtier ambiance (although there were plenty of sparkles and beauty to be found here, it was of a very different variety).
Because the event is so niche in who patronizes it and what it offers, it was also limited in its potential venue options (most balls in Los Angeles take place in gorgeous and historic theatres and hotels, which would have not vibed well with the Wasteland aesthetic). Wasteland Weekend builds an entire themed post-apocalyptic set in the middle of the desert every year for maximum immersion, after all. Finding something established in Los Angeles that fit the vibe but still offered all of the amenities a ball would need was, I am sure, no easy task. I was impressed at the team’s insight in booking Alpine Village
as the venue for this event – a cute German-inspired village centre that is home to one of our city’s largest Oktoberfests and offers German food, shopping, and educational visits the rest of the year.
The event itself had one centralized area for entertainment, with the Steampunk/post-apocalyptic band Abney Park headlining. The Wasteland crew has been working with Abney Park to get them to an event since almost its inception, so it was great that both parties were finally able to make it happen. Abney Park is one of only a small handful of bands who thematically and lyrically fit the post-apocalyptic tribal theme – there could have been no better choice to headline this event.
(Get on it, musicians. The world needs more apocalyptic jams.)
In addition to the performance by Abney Park, we were also joined by long-time Wasteland veterans AHTCK! As well as tribal bellydance performances by the Hell’s Sirens. The night ended with a DJ set by DJ Steph Infection – all the regulars from Wasteland Weekend, available locally and with access to real toilets! What can be better?
(A music video from AHTCK! shot in part at Wasteland Weekend.)
Beyond the entertainment offered on stage, the night opened with dance lessons on the main floor which was nothing short of adorable. Wastelander’s Ball is one of the only Balls where dancing was an actual possibility the entire night – it was blessedly not overbooked and you could actually move around and appreciate the sights (and my dress was gigantic, so I am not lying!) There was also a full buffet available for a reasonable fee, provided by the staff at Alpine Village (another major complaint I have with many similar events is their lack of food options, or food only be available to VIP ticketholders). There were of course several bars, as well as a free photobooth for all attendees (often a paid service at masquerades). In fact this ball was blissfully free of every major complaint I have from comparative events! My only critique was I would have liked to see the venue itself decorated a little bit more as it was still very obviously a German beerhouse.
Having an event like this local to the city allowed for several first-timers who have maybe been wary of trekking out to the desert to finally get the chance to see what we are all about. I expect our community grew significantly just from this small sampling of what the Wastelanders bring to the table. I was also very excited to see so many cool interpretations of what post-apocalyptic high couture means (I do an “eveningwear” look every Wasteland so I *LOVED* seeing what everyone else came up with. The best!) As someone who is involved in many, many geeky subcultures – SCA/medieval re-enactment, cosplay, video games, tabletop gaming – I will say there is nothing like the Wasteland community. They are incredibly approachable, friendly, socially capable, accepting, supportive, innovative and fun. Getting to goof off with a bunch of talented geeks who don’t take themselves seriously or feel the need to put down others in their scene is a refreshing breath of fresh air. As long as you show up, put forth some effort and aren’t a dick, you’re family.
Wasteland Weekend 2017 tickets are on sale now
, and this marks the first year that the event will begin building on a permanent, privately owned piece of land. I cannot wait to see how it grows. The apocalypse is in good hands.
Read more about Wasteland Weekend, here
Photos used graciously with permission by Glenn Francis of PacificProDigital.com
Geek Girl Mistress Zelda
Article: Geek Girl Mistress Zelda
Photographer: Glenn Francis of PacificProDigital.com
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March 09 2017