700 fans in homemade armor recreate Mad Max in a Calif. desert

Contributed by
Dec 15, 2012

The apocalypse hasn't happened (yet), but a few hundred Mad Max fans brought the apocalypse to them last weekend when they strapped on hockey masks, built a mini-Thunderdome and partied like dystopian brutes at a massive fan event called Wasteland Weekend.

Fans arrived in California scrubland for the event last Friday and spent their weekend having mock fights, building rough shacks out of plastic and cardboard and hanging out with fellow Mad Max enthusiasts. The event was started by Max superfan Karol Bartoszynski, who's already organized Mad Max-themed caravan rides, but decided that wasn't good enough and organized fellow fans to build her dream out in the desert.

"That's really where a Mad Max event belongs," Bartoszynski, a former surgical technician and aspiring costume designer, told "People just really want to go out there and live it. You know, eat the dog food and everything."

Yeah, someone actually did bring cans of Dinki-Di dog food to sell at the event (you know, for the purists), but other fans ditched accuracy in favor of having barbecue and a few drinks.

Fans broke into tribes with names like Dystopian Slut Militia, Road Rash and Legio X, fought with pole-arms and had boomerang throwing contests, and through it all no one was hurt and no one even seemed to get annoyed with each other. To hear attendees tell it, Wasteland Weekend is all about making the apocalypse fun.

"Apocalyptic stuff can be pretty depressing—we've chosen to just have the fun apocalypse," said co-organizer Jared (who prefers to not have his last name given for professional reasons). "We say, 'It's The Road Warrior, not The Road.' No one wants to spend three days in a Cormac McCarthy novel."

(via Wired)

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