Event Rules and Regulations
If you need to report any serious violations of our policies while at one of our events, please go to the security or medical tent. While NOT on site at our events, please use THIS FORM.
ALL OF THE POLICIES ON THIS PAGE AND ON OUR FAQ PAGE ARE FOR GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY AND ARE AT THE STAFF’S DISCRETION AND MAY BE CHANGED, MODIFIED, OR INTERPRETED AS NEEDED BY WASTELAND WORLD STAFF.
1. MINIMUM AGE – Wasteland Weekend is a fully immersive themed event for people 18 years of age or older. You must be a minimum of 18 years old by the starting day of the event in order to participate. A government-issued photo ID is REQUIRED for proof of age and entry. No exceptions will be made.
2. LAWS – All local, county, state, and federal laws apply to the event.
3. ARRIVALS – The event opens to attendees on Wednesday. Check in opens at 7am, though drivers may park in line earlier if desired. Only individuals and groups with prior approval and early arrival passes will be permitted to set up before the event is open. For more details, please see our Early Arrival Policy page.
4. HARASSMENT POLICY/CODE OF CONDUCT – All members of the Wasteland Weekend community have the right to be treated with — and the responsibility to treat others with — dignity and respect. Wasteland Weekend is intended to be safe and enjoyable for all attendees, and explicitly forbids discrimination based on race, religion, gender, gender-expression or identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or national origin. Additionally, cyber-bullying will not be tolerated.
Wasteland Weekend reserves the right to restrict the display of any symbols it considers hate symbols at any time. Displays of the confederate flag are banned at our events.
Your attendance at one of our events, and your membership in our online community can be revoked at any time, at the discretion of our staff, for any reason, with or without notice. Our most important goal is the safety and enjoyment of our on-site attendees. (For more information, please refer to Wasteland Weekend’s official WW Code Of Conduct
If you need to report any serious violations of our policies while NOT on site at our events, please use THIS FORM.
5. ENTRY SEARCH – Wasteland Weekend is a private event and thus reserves the right to search all persons, vehicles, and camps at any time. Your vehicle may be searched upon entry to the event.
6. WRISTBANDS – Wasteland Weekend is a private event and requires that wristbands must be worn at all times. If you lose your wristband, please report back to the check-in gate with your ID. Do not take your wristband off during the event. Wristbands may NOT be transferred from one person to another.
7. LITTER AND TRASH – If you bring it in or make it, you haul it out. This is a pack-it-in pack-it-out event. Please bring trash bags to collect and dispose of the trash from your camp.
8. ALCOHOL AND MINORS – No alcohol may be served, given, or distributed to minors. If you are caught doing so, local authorities will be contacted, and you will be ejected from the event.
9. ALCOHOL SALES AND SHARING – Alcoholic beverages may not be sold at Wasteland Weekend. This is a BYOB (bring your own booze) event. You may bring alcoholic beverages to share with your friends. Unopened, store bought-beverages (including soft drinks) may be donated to the Atomic Cafe. Camps may not set up their own bars to hand out drinks to passersby. Sharing drinks with friends within your camp is allowed.
10. FOOD AND SHARING– County Health says that anyone selling or handing out an item to be ingested by the public at the event is considered a food vendor. This includes ice and water. Yes, this includes anyone distributing anything ingestible to the public beyond their personal campmates and friends, even if it’s free.
11. LOCAL WILDLIFE – The Mojave Desert is home to many known endangered and threatened species of wildlife. A particularly well-documented local endangered species is the Desert Tortoise. Please do not try to handle, move, feed, or disturb them. If a Desert Tortoise is found, please inform any senior staff member. There could also be more dangerous creatures including but not limited to rattlesnakes, scorpions, and coyotes. Some critters like to shade under your vehicle while it’s parked, so it’s never a bad idea to do a walk around your vehicle and check under your tires before you start rolling again at the end of your visit. We ask you to please not disturb any living creature within this habitat. This is their home, and we are visiting it.
12. ASSAULT / THEFT – Assault or theft is a violation of the law, and local authorities will be called in.
13. FIREWORKS / EXPLOSIVES – Please do not bring any fireworks, bottle rockets, live ammunition, or explosives of any kind to the event. No road flares may be used (except in case of emergency). Additional information regarding this topic is found in our Fire Policy page.
14. DRUGS – This is a drug-free event. Possession or use of illicit substances is prohibited by law. The possession of any illegal drug with intent to distribute is an even more serious felony offense. The possession of large quantities or a variety of drugs may be interpreted as evidence of intent to distribute. Possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it to ingest a controlled substance is a violation of the law. Giving illegal substances to someone else could be considered drug trafficking.
15. ENTRANCE / EXIT – When entering or exiting the event, please use the check in gate entrance and exit only.
16. PERIMETER FENCE – The perimeter fence around Wasteland Weekend is not to be cut, broken, removed, circumvented, or altered in any way.
17. SIGNS – Please do not remove, take, or alter any of the Wasteland Weekend road signs that direct patrons to the event. If caught with one of our event signs in your possession, you will be ejected from the event. It is the property of Wasteland Weekend.
18. VANDALISM – Vandalism (writing, stickers, paint, scribing into metal, etc.) will not be tolerated.
19. FIRE DEVICES / FLAMETHROWERS – Mechanical fire devices for entertainment purposes are generally prohibited (flame throwers, brush burners, propane poppers, etc.) and obviously, nothing that explodes.
Store-bought (UL-listed) and unaltered propane and other flame devices used for their intended purposes of cooking are allowed. There is also an exception for devices used officially by Wasteland staff that have been inspected and permitted by the fire department. Additional information regarding this topic is found in our Fire Policy page.
20. LASERS – Due to our proximity to Edwards Air Force Base and a local municipal airport, any lasers are strictly forbidden, including laser pointers.
21. DRONES / REMOTE CONTROLLED AIRCRAFT – Remote-controlled aircraft (drones or any other type, with cameras or without, regardless of size) are not allowed at Wasteland Weekend. The only exception is for video crews who have prior written permission specifically for drone filming.
22. SOUND SYSTEMS / MUSIC – Attendees are not allowed to bring their own sound system to Wasteland Weekend. This is to help preserve the immersive theme and to preserve the enjoyment of the majority of attendees. For more detailed information, please see our Sound System / Music Policy page.
23. THEME – This is a fully-immersive, themed event and post-apocalyptic costumes must be worn by everyone. For more information, please read our comprehensive Theme Guide.
24. PHOTOS AND VIDEO – Taking photos and video at Wasteland has some restrictions, and we do NOT want people live streaming. For more info, please see our photo and video section under our FAQ.
25. SELLING / BUYING / BARTERING – While many attendees at Wasteland Weekend engage in the time-honored tradition of bartering for goods and services, some people would actually like to sell items for real-world money. In order to do that, you must be an approved vendor! This is so that we can ensure that the items you are planning to sell will be of interest to our attendees and can fit in somewhat with our overall post-apocalyptic theme. It’s also because selling anything at our event without a current business license and county permit is ILLEGAL (and YES, the state has been known to enforce this, and so will we).
If you are planning on BARTERING ONLY (no real-world money or credit exchanged) then you do NOT need to fill out a vendor application! However, if you would like to sell goods for money and apply as a vendor go HERE.
If you are NOT an official vendor, you may NOT sell anything for money AT Wasteland. That includes cash, PayPal, Venmo, Cashapp, or any other type of online payments.
There are currently no plans to require Covid testing or proof of vaccination for Wasteland Weekend 2023. We don’t expect that to change, but if it does, we will make an announcement prior to the event. Be aware that the unpredictable nature of the Covid pandemic – or any new pandemic – may mean we have to institute a policy for tests or vaccinations. Ticket refunds will not be given, whether or not we have to institute a testing or vax policy.
Pets are NOT permitted at the event. No dogs, no cats, no reptiles, no insects. NO animals may be brought on site. Love your pets? Don’t bring them to Wasteland. (With the exception of genuine ADA service dogs, see below)
The conditions at Wasteland aren’t friendly to our canine friends. Heat and the desert environment can take a heavy toll. Costumed people, loud noises, moving vehicles, desert wildlife, all of these can make Wasteland a scary, even deadly environment for pets.
Per Title II and III of the ADA, exceptions will be made for disabled persons with service dogs. Emotional support and/or therapy dogs are not designated service dogs as defined by the ADA, and thus are not permitted entry. Select onsite build crew who are on site for an extended period of time may be permitted to bring dogs if pre-approved.
This decision was reached with the utmost concern for the health and well being of both dogs and Wasteland participants. As fellow animal lovers, we thank you for understanding and abiding by this policy.
1. VEHICLE CHECK – All vehicles must enter the event through the check-in station and stop for check-in staff. All vehicles must wait in line, even if they have been checked in previously and are returning. (Emergency vehicles and event staff vehicles on assigned event business excepted.)
ALL vehicles at Wasteland Weekend are subject to inspection by Wasteland Weekend staff at ANY time, for ANY reason. It is our job to ensure the safety of our attendees, and that could include determining that certain vehicles are not safe to transport passengers, drive in certain areas, or at all.
2. DRIVING – Vehicles within the grounds of the event (including Wasteland City and the other areas within the perimeter) must move at 5MPH or LESS at all time. No unsafe maneuvers or styles of driving that kick up dust are allowed.
We shouldn’t have to say this, but do NOT drag anyone behind your vehicle, no matter what the speed.
Avoid leaving vehicles idling near campsites, especially where people are sleeping. Driving within the 100% themed area aka Wasteland City is not permitted after dark without express permission from senior staff members. (Usually reserved for fire and medical vehicles, Wasteland staff vehicles needed for safety or operations, or vehicles that are participating in some kind of official entertainment.)
Be extra careful when driving your vehicle at night near camp sites. Tent support lines can be very hard to see.
Driving outside the perimeter of the event is at your own risk but should always be done safely and within the law. Reckless or unsafe driving outside the perimeter of the event can still subject you to discipline by our staff, up to and including ejection from the event.
Drinking alcohol and driving is never tolerated under any circumstances, and any incidents will be referred to local police.
All vehicles driving at night must use headlights.
3. PARKING – Consult the map for areas in which to park your vehicle. Parking is included in your ticket price and is generally allowed throughout the non-Wasteland-City area as long as you do not block roads indicated on the map. You may park you car within your camp; you do not need to park in a designated parking area and camp away from your vehicle (in most circumstances) but we do have a large parking lot that we recommend for those who wish to use it.
Do NOT park any non-themed vehicles in the themed area after the event begins. Non-themed vehicles that need to load or unload within the themed area will need permission from staff.
Do NOT park your vehicle anywhere outside the event perimeter. Most of the surrounding property around Wasteland Weekend is private, and your vehicle could be cited or towed by law enforcement.
4. HELMETS – DOT-approved helmets are strongly encouraged to be worn at all times while riding any kind of motorcycle, ATV/quad, motorized bicycle, or scooter, regardless of where you are riding it, or your speed. Because the event takes place on private property, helmets are not REQUIRED while on the event site. However, event staff still has the right to put a stop to any vehicular behavior they feel is unsafe, regardless of whether or not you are wearing a helmet.
5. SPECIAL VEHICLES – Wasteland is famous for aggressive-looking custom vehicles. If your vehicle has spikes attached or sharp edges, or anything else that could endanger others, we strongly suggest you keep these covered most of the time (removing the safety covers temporarily only for controlled circumstances like photo ops).
Vehicles with sharp protrusions or many points/spike may be declared “Buzzard Vehicles” by our staff. Buzzards (the Buzzard vehicles from Fury Road are a good example) are a special category of car. And if you have a vehicle you are concerned may fall into this category, you may want to contact us before bringing it to the event. Spikes or any protrusion from the vehicle must be dulled, capped, or rendered incapable of causing injury.
A Buzzard vehicle MAY NOT BE DRIVEN while spikes are attached, except to and from display areas, or under approval and supervision of Wasteland staff. A designated Buzzard vehicle must remain parked at the owners camp, 10 or more feet from roads and pathways, and properly roped or fenced off from the general public. Owner will be held personally responsible for any injuries that occur relating to the vehicle.
6. FLASHING LIGHTS AND SIRENS – Vehicles may not flash red and/or blue lights or use sirens at Wasteland, with certain exceptions: Flashing lights and sirens may be used during the official authorized vehicle cruises, and may be used by Wasteland staff vehicles in emergencies. Other flashing light colors, such as yellow/amber are permitted, but we ask that you only use them when necessary.
Outside of Wasteland City, attendees are allowed to drive if absolutely necessary to get to their camp site or to exit the event. But please have your headlights on and drive very slowly, keeping an eye out for tent lines, pedestrians, etc..
8. OFF-ROAD VEHICLE /OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE (OHV) REQUIREMENTS – If you plan to bring an off-road vehicle (buggy, ATV, dirt bike etc.) we suggest you 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 outside the grounds of Wasteland Weekend.
Planning to drive outside the event site and wondering whether you really need an OHV permit? Check out our handy flowchart here!
OHV Permit Decision Helper
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.
You are allowed to bring prop weapons for your costume.
1. GUNS – Firearms are prohibited unless you 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.
Airsoft guns and BB guns do not need to be permanently disabled, but must have pellets, C02, and batteries (if applicable) removed before entering the event.
Squirt guns should not have water in them (empty props only) – because while a few of your friends might want to get squirted around camp to cool off, squirt gun fights at Wasteland could get pretty annoying pretty quickly. Also, squirt guns don’t usually make the best looking post-apocalyptic props without a lot of effort.
2. AMMO – No real ammunition 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.
3. BOWS & CROSSBOWS – Bows 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 loading or shooting it off in the event area. This rule includes functioning slingshots. Non-functioning, non-elastic prop slingshots for costuming purposes are still fine. Bows and crossbows may only be strung/loaded while using the official archery range (if it’s there) and only during supervised range open hours.
4. BLADES & POINTY THINGS – Edged weapons must be VERY dull, or should stay sheathed while you are inside the event boundaries. This includes sharp objects on costumes (spikes etc.). Wasteland Weekend security and staff reserve the right to inspect and confiscate any weapons or items 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).
We ask you not to carry or wear large or sharp objects through crowds of people.
We would also ask you not to carry large and/or dangerous objects at night, due to low visibility and desert terrain. Please leave real weapons in camp after dark (like baseball bats, sheathed swords, etc.)
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.
1. MUSIC / NOISE – You may play music in your general camping area between noon and approximately 2 am (actual times listed on official event schedule) at a moderate volume and as long as it does not disturb your neighbors. In the themed area, you may also play your music between noon and 2 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 event audio. In general, please avoid making loud noise between 3am and 9am. We have attendees who wish they could party all night, and some that have worked all night and wish they could sleep late into the day undisturbed. Having at least a few quiet hours each night is our attempt to strike a balance.
2. FIRES – At this time we are allowing cooking fires in your camp, though this is subject to change at any time depending on the stance of the local fire department. Fires must be attended at ALL times. Unattended fires will be put out. Please keep in mind that we have the potential for high winds in the area, and it is always best to err on the side of caution with fire in this arid environment. Please have at least one or more of the following available by your campfire: a fire extinguisher, large bucket of water, and/or a shovel with sand readily available to put out the fire if needed. Additional information on cooking fires is found on our Fire Policy page.
3. CAMP BOUNDARIES – Wasteland is a shared camping experience and a friendly desert community. Wandering among camps and meeting new people is a big part of the experience. We hope that all attendees will keep this in mind.
With that said, your camp is also your private space when you want it to be, and you are allowed to refuse access to anyone to your camp for any reason (provided you are not doing it in such a way that violates our rules against racism, homophobia, etc. – that should go without saying, but there, we just said it anyway). The exception to this would be Wasteland official security, medical personal, county officials, and senior event staff.
You are welcome to block off parts of your camp to foot traffic (putting up ropes or other barriers) as long as you do it with safety in mind. People might be walking around at night and it may be dark – don’t create a trip hazard or something sharp someone might wander into in the dark. Again, obvious, but we said it.
Finally, please try to respect other camp’s boundaries. Don’t cut across what is obviously someone’s private camp area just because it makes your walk just a little bit shorter. That’s just rude. At the same time, if someone is cutting through YOUR camp, understand that they may not have seen your rope, or boundary, or they may just be distracted by all the awesomeness or wanting to see your wasteland creations up close. Let’s try to keep it friendly and keep Wasteland a mostly open and welcoming space to explore, while still having some respect for privacy.