Theme Zone

Wasteland Weekend’s Theme Zone

Our goal is to provide an immersive experience for our attendees, and the themed camping zone is a large part of this experience.  This zone is not only contained inside the walls of Wasteland City, but extends well beyond. While a themed campsite is not mandatory for attendees, it is mandatory for any tribes wanting a reserved spot on the map in the theme zone.

What does that mean for you and your tribe? This is your chance to be in the thick of things. A part of the action. Fully themed camps may apply for pre-placement on the map, and enjoy an extra day of Wasteland before the event officially opens on Wednesday, September 27th.

An extra day of Wasteland, you say? Damn right. For approved, 100% themed camps along with reserved space and placement on the official map. As an added bonus, and incentive to build more interactive themed camps, those approved will have the opportunity to arrive and set up early starting 8am Tuesday, September 26th, and enjoy an additional day of Wasteland Weekend VIII.

What’s New for 2017?

Wasteland is at a new location! While we can’t yet release the coordinates, we can tell you that it is significantly larger. You’re going to love it.

There is more room for new tribes, and space for existing theme camps to expand and grow. If you need more space than you had last year, this is the time to ask for it. Be sure to include a layout with your camp application, showing what your plans are for additional space.

Bartertown is moving outside Wasteland City. The new dedicated trade district will be on Main Street, in a high traffic area of the event, just inside the themed area. A small food court will now be a permanent addition to Bartertown.

We’re adding new entertainment “hubs” inside Wasteland City. This means more opportunities for performances, side shows, burlesque acts, and tribe-generated activities. Be sure to let us know if your camp would like to participate in Wasteland City entertainment.


(Answered by a crusty old Wastelander)

Wait, fully-themed camps can apply for placement and Tuesday  arrival?

Yes, and if your camp is approved you will be pre-placed on the map and be allowed entry on Tuesday, September 26th at 8am . Read the entire FAQ and familiarize yourself with the event rules BEFORE filling out the application form. Please. Seriously. Asking stupid questions already covered in the FAQ or creating extra work for our staff will adversely affect the outcome of your application, so READ ON.

What theme requirements are considered for placement?

A fully-themed camp covers every visual aspect both up close and from a distance. Costumed members of your tribe have an equal role to play. Themed vehicles are a plus, and non-themed cars/trucks must be hidden or camouflaged (staff will ask you to move any non-themed vehicles seen in your camp during the event.) Camp decoration, nighttime lighting, and interactivity with passing Wastelanders is a bonus. You camp must fit within the fully immersive atmosphere.

What other criteria go into the approval process?

Adherence to theme, great costumes, awesome vehicles, interactivity, history of no security/medical issues, and of course a willingness to work with Wasteland management and staff. NO bright colors, neons, whites, pinks, or anything that makes you stand out of theme. You should already know better. A positive attitude and ability to adapt goes a long, long way.

What is the deadline to apply?

July 31st.

Our camp isn’t done yet.  Do we still have to send in pictures?

Yes. Pics or it didn’t happen. All the grandiose plans and good intentions in the world don’t count if it doesn’t actually exist. We need to see what you’re building and bringing to Wasteland to make the call, and find the ideal placement for your theme camp. Veteran tribes should have no problem producing images from past events. New tribes and first-time theme camps, it’s crunch time to see what you can have ready before the July 31st deadline, and setting your camp up before the event to take those photos is a good way of identifying any issues before you get on site.

What if we’re bringing something amazing that takes more than one day to set up?

All the more power to you. We love seeing tribes take the initiative, go the extra mile, and raise the bar. There are a few powerhouse Wasteland tribes that do just that, like the Skulduggers, Dauntless eXpress Corp, Dukes of the Nuke, and Rust Devils, to name a few. We’re always up to grant a little extra time for camps that truly bring something epic, but arrival passes before Tuesday are an EXTREMELY rare privilege.

What if we’re not really a tribe, just a group of “lone wolfs” that has a bad ass themed camp. Can we still get placement?

Sure, but for all practical purposes, that makes you a tribe. Semantics. And you can’t pluralize lone wolf. We still have to put something down on the map, and “Joe’s camp” isn’t going to fly. Come up with something cool. It’s not that hard.

Does approved placement mean our camp gets early arrival?

Yes, but only tribe members on the application will be considered. Joining or being a member of an approved and placed tribe or camp does not automatically grant early arrival. If the day after your camp gets approved and placed, you suddenly sprout 30 new members begging to get in early, you could lose your camp placement, be subject to relocation, and lose early arrival status for everyone in your tribe. ONLY tribe members camping with your themed camp, as listed and approved on your application will be allowed early arrival.

Our friends in another camp got placed but our own tribe didn’t. Can we just combine our camps to get placement?

No. Last year we saw the phenomenon of “Campooling” occur, shortly after the official map was released. Approved tribes that had done the work to fully theme their camp and received placement were suddenly deluged with requests to merge with tribes that did not. It’s obvious. It’s lazy. It defeats the purpose of camp placement. Camps need to stand on their own merit.

Does our camp have to arrive Tuesday, or can we still come in on Wednesday when the event officially opens?

You may arrive Wednesday, as can members of your camp who may not be able to swing the extra day. We encourage you to send a small setup team to secure your space and begin theming your camp on Tuesday. Space unclaimed by Wednesday afternoon may be allocated to new arrivals, and camps on the waiting list.

What if my camp requires additional teardown time?

Your camp better be epic. When filling out the application, you may request a teardown pass for a small crew to remain as late as noon Monday, October 2nd. We strongly suggest this skeleton crew only consists of the actual individuals absolutely essential to dismantling and cleaning up your campsite. This is not a pass to party.  ONLY THE NAMES LISTED ON THE APPLICATION will be considered.  If you did not include someone’s name on the application under the teardown section, they will need to leave the premises by the end of the event, which is 4 pm on Sunday.  They will not be approved for teardown on-site. Do not come to staff asking for exemptions, or assume that all tribe members will be granted a pass if their names were not on the application.

There’s also one more requirement for a teardown pass. Most individuals staying Sunday night must complete 4 hours of Wasteland community service. You are required to put in a minimum of 4 hours work with general site cleanup and event teardown on Sunday. This is not a volunteer position, and you will not be earning a ticket. This is you giving something back to Wasteland, and helping insure the event continues to operate for years to come.

Check-in for teardown is from noon to 2pm on Sunday, October 1st at the Wasteland Command Center. Your name must already be on the approved list submitted by your theme camp. No walk-ups. You will be assigned to a cleanup or teardown crew for a minimum of 4 hours. Once you have completed your time, report back to the Command Center by 6pm to receive your teardown pass and wristband.

Security and local police will be doing an event-wide sweep starting after 6pm. Wristbands will be checked. The event is over. If you don’t have a teardown wristband, you don’t need to be there. Again, do NOT request a teardown pass if your name’s not on the approved list. If you are planning to carpool with someone who is on the teardown list and you are not on the list, you will need to make arrangements for a different ride.

But what if I helped clean up already. Why can’t I get my teardown pass?

Again, if you are not PRE-APPROVED to stay Sunday evening, you will not be given a pass and will need to leave the site. Thank you for helping clean up, but that is not the only requirement for getting a teardown pass. The other requirement is being on the pre-approved list. If your friend tells you that all you need to do is stick around and help clean up, and then you’ll get a wristband, your friend is mistaken.

What’s required for placement in Wasteland City?

Wasteland City is the hub for barter, entertainment, nightlife, and action. Simply having a themed camp is not enough. Wasteland City tribes must be interactive, provide some service, entertainment or function, and maintain the highest standards in theme and conduct. All city tribes and vendors must arrive and be finished with setup up no later than Tuesday night. Vendors wishing to join the ranks of Bartertown must also be fully themed.

My camp wants to vend at Wasteland, so do we need to fill out this application?

Yes! This year we will only need one application from vendors.

First, go check out our Vendor Information page.  Make sure you have read and understand it all before doing anything else.

Then read this Theme Zone Information page top to bottom.  Only after you’ve read both pages, then you may go fill out the Theme Zone application (link below).

When you get to the section that asks if you’re planning to be a vendor, click “Yes”. The rest of the vendor application will open up for you to complete. Please be aware that having a themed storefront AND camp is a requirement to vend at Wasteland. Placement in Bartertown is contingent on both. We need to see what you’re bringing. The better you look, the better your placement. Location, location, location.

Please do not fill out the vendor part of the application if you’re not selling goods for real-world money. Bartering is allowed by anyone, but anyone selling items for money must be an approved vendor, with proper business licenses and permits. See our Vendors section for more information.

How big (small) does my theme camp have to be?

We will consider all shapes and sizes, though small to medium sized camps with a good standing in the Wasteland community will be prioritized. In our experience, extremely large camps tend to be problematic in both theme and behavior. If you run a tight ship, any number is acceptable.

My tribe had a reserved space last year, so do we still need to apply?

Yes. Everyone does, not just you. Nobody is being singled out, and nobody gets to skip this process – even our staff members who run tribes must send in an application.

Does every member of my tribe or camp get to arrive early?

No, only those actually camping in the themed zone where your camp has been approved and placed. That means no satellite camps, non-themed “members”, or friends just wanting to use your approval status to get in early, reserve space outside the theme zone, and party. If we catch any members of your camp attempting to reserve space or setup outside the themed camping zone, they will be ejected from the event, and your entire tribe will lose its placement. Choose the names on your early arrival application wisely.

Can tribe members not listed on the application still camp with us in the theme area?

Yes, so long as theme is maintained, and you don’t exceed the allocated space. However, tribe members who are NOT listed on the approved camp application will not be granted early access, and will have to arrive when the event officially opens on Wednesday. Don’t even ask for exceptions.

So, there’s this couple in our tribe that show up late to everything, can’t get their S#@T together, and kinda make a nuisance of themselves. Do we have to kick them out of our tribe?

No. This situation is surprisingly common. We all have the friend who shows up a day late, forgets their costume, buys a brand new tent on the way in, parks their shiny new car in the middle of the street, immediately gets drunk, and takes 12 hours to unload their stuff. You don’t have to kick them out of your tribe, but you may want to reconsider putting their name on the application.

Here’s why:

Every member of your tribe or camp represents you as a whole, and all of you have to take responsibility for their actions. You can help them theme their gear, encourage positive behavior, even do some of the work for them, OR, you can request they not camp with you in the themed area and have them arrive when the event officially opens on Wednesday. They can come hang out with the tribe without actually camping in the themed zone.

To be clear, if your campmates cause problems for staff or security (especially on early arrival Tuesday), drink too much or abuse drugs that land them in the med tent, or completely fail at theme, it WILL affect placement and arrival status for the entire camp. In short, if they look bad, you look bad.

My tribe has been coming to Wasteland for years. Do we still need to apply for placement?

Yes. ALL theme camps must submit an application to be considered for placement. Only the best themed tribes will be considered, regardless of years in attendance. If your tribe has been coming for five years and a first-year group of noobs kicks your ass in theme, it’s time to up your game.

Yeah, but I’m a big shot, my tribe rules Wasteland, and we donate a bottle of Trader Joe’s rum to the Atomic Cafe every year. The theme standards and application process can’t possibly apply to us! Or does it?

Yes. You. Especially you. No application, no approval, no placement.

How do we apply?

  1. Have you read the entire FAQ and familiarized yourself with the event rules and theme guidelines yet?  There may be a quiz at the end. Do that first.
  1. Designate ONE member of your tribe or camp to represent you. This person will fill out the application, and act as your tribe contact. Do not have multiple members of your tribe apply. The more work you create for staff, the less likely your application will be approved.
  1. Rustle up some photos of your camp from previous years. If you don’t have any, setup your camp in your back yard, an empty lot, any place that lets you test your space and layout, and take pictures to send in with your application. Remember, this is 100% themed camping, so get your A-Game on.
  1. Fill out the camp placement application before the deadline of July 31st. Don’t rush it. You have time. Multiple applications by the same tribe won’t help, so make sure you have all the information together before submitting. Make it good, and you’ll have a shot. We love seeing well organized tribes.
  1. If you are accepted, you will get a confirmation e-mail, and details regarding placement, theme, and early arrival. Congratulations! You’re on the map.
  1. If your application is not accepted, you will get an email stating this.  If your application is not accepted, you will get an email stating this. Roll with the punches and bring your themed camp to Wasteland anyway. Enjoy the best 5-day Post-Apocalyptic event in the world. Impress the hell out of us this year, and you’ll be sitting pretty for a shot at placement next year. Many of our placed tribes started as an “unofficial” tribe, and stood out in such an awesome way that there was no doubt they’d be an approved, placed tribe the following year. Make sure to take photos of your camp setup so that you can use them on the application for next year!

I’ve read the FAQ twice and familiarized myself with ALL of Wasteland’s rules and theme guidelines, but I still have some questions. Who do I talk to?

Feel free to contact Wasteland’s Community Manager, Mike “The Baron” Muchow.  Questions about vending can go to Jen “Winter” Harte.


Those who submitted an application will be hearing from our team shortly.