Bored by relaxing weekend beach trips? This “Mad Max”-themed post-apocalyptic festival in a scorched desert might be the getaway for you.
Wasteland Weekend takes place in the Mojave Desert just outside Bakersfield, California every September. This year’s event (held from September 22 to 25) drew a crowd of around 2,500 attendees who temporarily swapped civilisation for a simulated post-apocalyptic desertscape, complete with bungee fights, souped-up survival vehicles, crazy-elaborate costumes, DJs, fire dancing, circus acts, bonfires, and more.
The festival is inspired by films like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and it’s fully immersive — everyone must come in costume and stay in character for the entire weekend. Modified vehicles are “encouraged” according to the Wasteland Weekend website.
“There’s a spiritual aspect to Wasteland Weekend and the people who attend it,” longtime participant Mike Orr recently told the Daily Mail. “You have all this armour on and spikes and everything like that…it’s emulating the end of the world. It’s an escapism. You come here and you can be whatever you want to be.”
The festival may even serve the practical purpose of preparing people for a real apocalypse.
Wasteland Weekend’s cofounder Jared Butler told Wired that, given the actual end of the world, “some [participants] will be well prepared. The others, well, they will be poorly prepared, but they will look fabulous.”
See more photos from this year’s event over at Wired and on Wasteland Weekend’s official Instagram account.
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