EDWARDS, CA (FOX 11) - Every year, thousands of people from around the world come to California’s remote Mojave desert, hours away from Los Angeles, to celebrate the largest post apocalyptic festival in the world: Wasteland Weekend.
It’s essentially Mad Max meets Burning Man, and FOX 11 is taking you along as we check it out for ourselves.
This was the ninth year of Wasteland Weekend, and the festival had its highest turnout ever, around 4,000 people.
Wasteland Weekend is a five day post-apocalyptic festival where costumes are required and post apocalyptic campsites and vehicles are encouraged, as an entire city named Wasteland is built from the dust of a fictional apocalypse.
Several of the costumes you’ll see include Immortan Joe, Furiosa, and Rictus Erectus, all from the most recent Mad Max: Fury Road movie.
“L.A. will burn,” said a man dressed up as Immortan Joe. “I’ve never been a fan of L.A. and I think I want to take it for myself, flatten it out and start over, get that traffic out of the way, make way for my vehicles, my armada, the highways are ours.”
One woman, a mechanical engineer from Vancouver, told FOX 11 why she came to Wasteland.
“When the world ends, the rules go away right?” she said. “All the BS of you have to go do this, you have to go do that, and you’re not allowed to be sexual, everything is so fu**ing constrained and here you just get to break free and be yourself.
Wasteland Weekend is a legal, sanctioned event, and Kern County deputies and paramedics are nearby for any issues.
Wristbands cost $195, and 2018 was a total sellout.
“It’s not as crazy as it looks, and it’s more crazy than it looks,” said Wasteland Weekend event director Jared Butler. “Meaning that the people here are actually very nice and much more welcoming than you’d expect, but the things you see and the amount of imagination unleashed, you have to see it to believe it.”