F.A.Q.

Please “pack it in – pack it out!” THAT MEANS EVERY TINY THING!  Draining of holding tanks, littering, and trash dumping is prohibited.

1. Do I have to wear a post-apocalyptic costume?

1. Do I have to wear a post-apocalyptic costume?

Yes. The event aims to create a 360° post-apocalyptic environment! Post-apocalyptic costuming can be very affordable and may even be put together from items you already own. Rummage your closet, thrift stores, and surplus stores. If you need costume help, this website is quickly becoming the premiere resource for post-apocalyptic costuming tips. Check out our Costume Tips. For the most comprehensive advice about costumes and how to make sure what you wear fits our theme, please read our latest Theme Guide.

2. Where does this event take place?

2. Where does this event take place?

California City, CA.  Check out our Maps page for more details.

3. Do I have to have a themed vehicle or themed campsite to attend?

3. Do I have to have a themed vehicle or themed campsite to attend?

No. Themed campsites and themed vehicles are encouraged, but not required. Themed campsites and vehicles will be judged for prizes and can get you placed closer to the action (see our Tribes page). You don’t even have to camp if you don’t want to, although camping is included in your ticket price. You can just hang out to check out the atmosphere, entertainment and vendors.

4. When am I allowed to show up at the event to grab my campsite and start setting up?

4. When am I allowed to show up at the event to grab my campsite and start setting up?

The earliest you may arrive onsite is 7am on Thursday, September 22.  Please check out our Early Arrival Policy for more details.

5. I have questions about ticket availability!

5. I have questions about ticket availability!

How many tickets are available? Will it sell out? Do I need to buy if I plan to volunteer or perform?  These questions and more are answered in our handy Ticket Mini-FAQ here: Ticket Info.

6. Do you sell one-day passes? I'm only planning to come for the day.

6. Do you sell one-day passes? I'm only planning to come for the day.

No. You will need to buy a ticket to get in, if even just for a few hours. “One-day passes” will not be available. Besides, Wasteland Weekend is one of the most affordable desert festivals around.

7. Can we bring out our own sound system so our DJ or band can play in our camp?

7. Can we bring out our own sound system so our DJ or band can play in our camp?

No. But you can play your music in your general camping area between noon and 3 am at a moderate volume and as long as it doesn’t disturb your neighbors. In the themed area, you may also play your music between noon and 3 am, but the organizers reserve the right to ask you to turn it off if they feel it is not contributing to the theme or is interfering with the official audio. Wasteland Weekend will play a variety of music during the day, as well as schedule bands and DJs.  For more information on camp sound systems, please check out our Sound System / Music Policy page.

8. Is this a LARP or cosplay event?

8. Is this a LARP or cosplay event?

No. This is a four-day desert encampment and festival in a Mad Max world. We are requiring costumes because we don’t want there to be a distinction between participants and gawkers (like there are at many other events). Uncostumed attendees would take away from the environment we are creating, and thus the ability for all participants to enjoy the event. As for LARP (Live Action Role Playing), no, this is not intended to be a LARP gaming event. But I guess if you want to do that sort of thing while you’re out in the wasteland, we’re not going to stop you. But we reserve the right to make fun of you. Up until you wipe out all our hit points with a magic missile.

9. I saw that there are DJs. Is this a rave?

9. I saw that there are DJs. Is this a rave?

No. Our DJs will be playing an eclectic mix of everything from industrial, to metal and vintage hard rock, to snippets of movie soundtracks -anything that fits in with the post-apocalyptic, Mad Max vibe. There will also be a number of live bands. During the day, expect to hear Wasteland Radio – a diverse playlist of songs interspersed with our very own radio ads.

10. Is the event accessible by a regular street vehicle?

10. Is the event accessible by a regular street vehicle?

Legally, we have to say that street vehicles are not recommended in this off-road vehicle area, but our import cars with 6″ clearances make it fine every time. Actually, the dirt roads are regularly maintained by the city and are some of the best we’ve ever driven on. There’s really no cause for concern – after welcoming thousands of attendees, no one has ever complained about vehicle access.

11. There is mention of campers, RVs, trailers and such. May we just bring a tent?

11. There is mention of campers, RVs, trailers and such. May we just bring a tent?

Absolutely. There will be an area for tents & encampments. Camping is free – just find a spot and set up your camp! Get creative, and decorate your tent(s) in post-apocalyptic décor! A contest will reward prizes for the best camping set-up & décor! There is also a hotel just 20 minutes away if your need to live out a post-apocalyptic dream ends at bedtime.

12. Will bathrooms be available?

12. Will bathrooms be available?

Yes! We aren’t going THAT post-apocalyptic! Plenty of public portable restrooms and sinks will be available for the entire event.  If you would like to be extra fancy, you can even rent a private porto for your camp (provided you’re one of the fully-themed tribes in Wasteland City).  Sound cool?  Check out our Private Porto Rental Info page and snag one for your group!

13. Will there be food vendors?

13. Will there be food vendors?

Yes, but they will probably not be open 24 hours a day. If you bring your own drinks, remember: try to avoid glass containers! It’s no fun to step or drive over broken glass!

14. Is this a “kid-friendly” event?

14. Is this a “kid-friendly” event?

No, unfortunately, this most certainly is NOT a kid-friendly event. There will be large amounts of spikes, chains, large fast-moving vehicles and alcohol involved — probably not the best environment for children. You must be 18 years old or older to attend this event, NO EXCEPTIONS.

15. Can I bring my pets?

15. Can I bring my pets?

Due to the number of issues and unfortunate incidents involving dogs at Wasteland, pets will no longer be permitted at the event.  (Exceptions for service dogs granted per the ADA, of course.) Please see the RULES page for more info.

Also, the Desert Tortoise is protected, so PLEASE do not harm or touch any if you see them. You will get slapped with a HUGE FINE!

16. I understand that firearms are not allowed, but can we bring prop & replica weapons?

16. I understand that firearms are not allowed, but can we bring prop & replica weapons?

Yes, with some conditions: Bring your NON-FIRING/REPLICA weaponry. No real firearms are allowed, whether loaded or not, unless they have been permanently disabled (removing the firing pin is NOT enough). No black powder guns. No real ammo is allowed, even if you’re just wearing it as part of a costume (dummy/deactivated bullets are fine however). You may not fire any blank-firing guns, cap guns, or any prop that simulates the sound of a real gun being fired. (You can bring them, just don’t ever load them or let them make noise). Airsoft guns are allowed, but must not be loaded at any time. Bows and crossbows must NEVER be loaded while in the event area. Basically, if it’s a weapon that fires a projectile of any kind (even a Nerf gun), or makes a loud noise, don’t even think of shooting it off in the event area. BLADES – Edged weapons must be VERY dull, or should stay sheathed while you are inside the event boundaries. This includes sharp objects on costumes. Wasteland Weekend security and staff reserve the right to inspect and confiscate any weapons that appear to be unsafe, or are being used in an unsafe manner (they will be held for you until the end of the event). If you have questions about a specific weapon, better to ask us before you bring it out. And remember that California law supersedes any of our weapons policies. If you carry something to or at the event that is against the law in the state of CA, you do so at your own risk.

17. What will the weather be like for the event weekend?

17. What will the weather be like for the event weekend?

The average weather for the area in late September is: HIGH 84° and LOW 57°. However, be prepared for heatwaves or cold spells – we can’t predict what Mother Nature will do. Make sure to bring warm clothing, as the temperature really drops at night in the desert! This event is set to start well BEFORE the rainy season, but you never know, so check the weather forecasts before you go. Either way, Wasteland Weekend is a rain or shine event.

18. Are campfires/bonfires allowed?

18. Are campfires/bonfires allowed?

Personal campfires are allowed, large bonfires are not. You may want to bring your own wood, and please be responsible with your fire pit! Never leave any fire unattended and always have a fire extinguisher or sand bucket within your camp. Burning of wood containing nails, screws or metal hardware is prohibited. (That means pallets!) BBQs are allowed, too. A firewood vendor may drop by occasionally. Tiki torches (or similar) are fine, but just be smart and don’t place them too close to your tent. Remember that there are strong and sudden wind gusts in the desert that could knock over flaming objects.  Additional information regarding campfires at the event is found on our Fire Policy page.

19. Will there be a power grid for all attendees to use?

19. Will there be a power grid for all attendees to use?

No. There are currently no plans for a community power grid. Power will be reserved for official event use such as entertainment. If you need to charge your cell phone, please bring a car adapter, or find a friend with a generator or RV. Please be responsible for your own needs.

20. Can we use a camp shower / solar shower?

20. Can we use a camp shower / solar shower?

Yes. Spilling some water onto the ground is fine. However, emptying of grey water or black water tanks from an RV is NOT allowed.

21. Can I use my phone at the event?

21. Can I use my phone at the event?

Cell phones definitely have the potential to disrupt our themed atmosphere, but they are not prohibited at the event. We just ask that you limit their use. There is nothing wrong with using your phone to take photos or video, or check your messages, give an arriving tribe mate directions etc. (or for emergencies, OBVIOUSLY). But please don’t be that person staring at your cell phone screen for long periods, playing games, constantly checking emails, etc.. You have the rest of the year to do that. We strongly suggest you unplug for a few days if at all possible. (Frankly, the staff running the event wish they could do the same.)

This is four days of trying to live inside a Mad Max-style movie. Embrace it. Cell phone reception for most carriers out at our location is generally good, but there are no guarantees, and you’ll need to find some way to charge your phone.

22. Can I spin fire or bring my flamethrower?

22. Can I spin fire or bring my flamethrower?

Performers will be putting on fire spinning, fire breathing, and fire combat performances at scheduled times and in designated places ONLY. If you would like to be one of our performers, please fill out a performer application form.

If you are not a performer, you MAY spin fire this year, but you may only do so within the boundaries of the designated fire practice area. Each person spinning fire must have at least one safety person stationed nearby with either a fire extinguisher or a duvetyne blanket. That means if there are four people spinning in the practice area, there must be four safeties watching them. Anyone seen breaking the safety rules for fire spinning is subject to removal from the event. Each year we evaluate our fire rules in cooperation with the local California City authorities. Your safety and cooperation will help Wasteland Weekend to continue to be a fun and safe event for everyone.

You will not be allowed to use your propane pyrotechnic devices or flamethrowers. Wasteland Weekend will provide pyrotechnic entertainment from the main stage.

Additional details on fire spinning and fire-based devices is found on our Fire Policy page.

23. Can I take photos or shoot film/video?

23. Can I take photos or shoot film/video?

Photography and Film & Video policies for Wasteland Weekend
Still photography:
Anyone who attends Wasteland Weekend may take still photos. They need not pre-register.
However, members of the press should notify WW staff members before their arrival so that we may assist them in covering the event (and some media outlets will qualify for free admission). Anyone who receives a complimentary press pass for the event is expected to share some of their work with WW staff afterwards so that we may use it for promotional purposes. (We will always make our best efforts to obtain permission from photographers and give them proper credit when using their photos for promotion.)
We expect photographers to be courteous of attendees and not take anyones’ photograph who asks you not to, or who makes it clear through their actions that they do not want to be photographed. Use your best judgement. When in doubt, ask before shooting. (If possible. We don’t necessarily expect you to ask everyone’s permission when taking crowd shots).
All photographers must obey the same rules and codes of conduct as other Wasteland attendees, including proper post-apocalyptic attire at all times.
Members of the media should check in at the WW Command Center (just inside the Wasteland gates) when they arrive at the event.

Film & Video:
The above rules all apply, with additional restrictions:

Anyone taking motion photography of any sort (film, video) will need to be pre-approved by Wasteland staff and file a permit. If you plan on shooting video for any reason, be it media, your own personal use, a short film for YouTube, whatever, you will need to register. There is no fee. You will be given a special arm band to wear while at the event that tells us you are approved by staff. Anyone seen filming without an arm band will be asked to stop. Anyone who doesn’t stop, may be escorted out of the event.

Note: Cell phone video cameras are exempt and will be treated as still cameras for the purposes of this policy.

Why do we have this policy? Several reasons. One reason is that we want to limit the number of cameras and film crews at our event. Even when a film crew is in costume, having many cameras rolling at WW can break the immersive illusion of the event. But we certainly understand the need to get great imagery of the event (after all, some of the film crews out there will be shooting footage specifically for event staff, so that we can document this unique event and have material for future promotion). Limiting the total number of film crews and media crews is a way for us to try and strike a balance between the publicity that is so important to the continuation of this unique event, and the enjoyment of our attendees.

Another reason is that there are film and TV companies out there that would simply like to get some footage at WW to use in their low budget productions. These companies are not interested in our event, or our attendees, except to the extent that they can use them as free extras, and use our volunteer-built sets to make their low budget films look better without having to pay anything. We would like to prevent this type of exploitation of our people and the works of art they have worked hard to create.

Anyone wishing to film at wasteland should immediately submit the following information to:

wastelandweekend {at} gmail [dot] com

WASTELAND FILMING APPLICATION
The more specific and detailed information you give us below, the more you increase your chances of obtaining a film permit. We are a ticketed private event and reserve the right to refuse filming rights to anyone for any reason. And some applications will be rejected simply to keep the total number of film crews manageable.

Submit this Form

Name:
Contact info: (phone, email, mailing address)
Name of project: (if applicable)

  1. Which days do you plan to film at Wasteland? Let us know if you will be filming at night as well.
  2. What is the intended purpose of the footage you will be shooting? News media? Personal use only? Narrative short film? Television show? Please be as specific as possible. And you must let us know if your project is intended to be non-profit or for-profit.
  3. Tell us about your production company (if you have one) or about your background as a filmmaker. If the answer is “none, I just want to pick up a camera and film my friends”, that’s fine. Tell us that.
  4. Is there anything specific you plan to shoot (scenes, story lines, posed groups)? Describe in detail. Feel free to submit scripts and/or storyboards if you have them.
  5. Describe the equipment you will be using, and the size of your crew. If filming at night, will you be using artificial lighting? If so, describe. NOTE: Drone cameras are not permitted (except for our in house video team, whose drones are already pre-approved).

Wasteland Weekend will not supply power for film crews. You may not plug into our generators for lighting or to recharge batteries, etc.. (Exceptions may be made for our own official WW documentary crews).

Even if you are given a permit to film at Wasteland, significant changes to any of the above information once you arrive, could be cause for your permit to be revoked (Don’t tell us you’re just going to use a small camcorder to shoot your friends and then try to show up with a full pro crew.)
If the intended use of your footage changes after WW is over (i.e. you wish to sell it to another company for them to use as part of a different project) you must notify us in writing for further permission.
By submitting this application, you agree to share your footage from Wasteland Weekend with event staff so that they may use it for event promotion. (This also helps us to help you promote the end result of your hard work with all of our fans!)
Send all of the above info to jared (at ) wasteland weekend dot com

24. Are there any off-road vehicle requirements?

24. Are there any off-road vehicle requirements?

Yes! PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW the below:

If you plan to bring an off-road vehicle (buggy, ATV, dirt bike etc.) you will need to purchase an annual OHV permit (Street Operating Permit) from California City. On weekdays, they are available from the police department. On weekends, you can purchase one at Borax Bill Park. California City is the third largest city in California, in terms of area, and boasts hundreds of miles of dirt roads that criss-cross the desert. Any vehicle that is not currently DMV registered must have a current OHV permit if you plan to drive it on the grounds of Wasteland Weekend or beyond.

Wasteland Weekend does not sell these permits. For more information, go here: (you will see a list of business in red on the left of the site that sell the needed OHV permits) California City Police Dept – D.I.R.T.

General California OHV rules:

General California OHV rules:

  • All vehicles must have a muffler or spark arrester and have either a street-legal license or be registered as an off-highway vehicle.
  • Vehicles operated at night must have head and tail lights.
  • Helmets are required on all ATVs!
  • Passengers are not permitted on ATVs.
  • OHVs owned by California residents must be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and must properly display a valid “Green Sticker” or “Red Sticker” registration decal on the vehicle. (Red Sticker riding rules and schedule by area are available on the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division website at www.ohv.parks. ca.gov/ or by calling 916-324-4442. )
  • If you are not a resident of California and your OHV is not registered in your home state, you are required to have a “Nonresident” OHV permit, issued by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, to legally operate your vehicle in the state of California The Nonresident decal is to be displayed in the same location on the OHV as that specified for California Green sticker registration decals. These Nonresident permits ($30 for one year, for each OHV) may be purchased in a variety of ways, including:

(1) from the Wells Fargo Country Store (72129 Baker Blvd.), in Baker, California, just off Interstate-15, between Barstow, California, and the California-Nevada state line;
(2) for Nevada residents living in the Las Vegas area, Nonresident permits may be purchased at the “Rip Cove” motorcycle store in Henderson, Nevada;
(3) Nonresident permits may be purchased at Dumont Dunes from an authorized vendor on major holiday weekends (Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and President’s Day); and
(4) a Nonresident permit may be purchased by writing to California State Parks, Non-Resident OHV/OSV Permits, P.O. Box 942896, Sacramento, CA 94296-0001. Questions or comments may be directed to the OHMVR Division by calling (916) 324-4442.

Other California City services:

Other California City services:

  1. City Fresh Water and R.V. Dump Service Permit: $25.00/year
    A single Self-Contained Travel Trailer/R.V. Service Permit will entitle the operator of the assigned permitted vehicle to obtain up to 150 U. S. Gallons/Day at any of the designated “Fresh Water” dispensing stations. The permit holder would also be entitled to dispose of normal “Grey” or “Black” water waste in any of the City DUMP STATION sites. This permit is only valid to privately owned recreational vehicles. No commercially owned vehicle may dump or dispose of commercial waste at City DUMP STATION sites.
  2. Family Pack: $50.00/year
    A Family Pack includes the issuance of four Street Operating Permits and one City Fresh Water & R. V. Dump Service Permit.
  3. City Fresh Water (Single Use): $ 5.00/dayA single Self-Contained Travel Trailer/R.V. Service Permit will entitle the operator of the assigned permitted vehicle to obtain up to 150 U. S. Gallons (one time only) at any of the designated “Fresh Water” dispensing stations.
  4. R.V. Dump Service Permit: $ 5.00/dayA single Self-Contained Travel Trailer/R.V. Service permit will entitle the operator of the assigned permitted vehicle to dispose of normal “Grey” or “Black” water waste in any of the City DUMP STATION sites. This permit is only valid to Privately Owned Recreational Vehicles. No commercially owned vehicle may dump or dispose of commercial waste at City DUMP STATION sites.