FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wasteland Weekend Returns with Fully-Vaccinated Festival
LOS ANGELES, CA October 1st, 2021
The world-famous post-apocalyptic music & arts festival Wasteland Weekend has taken place in the Mojave Desert in California since it was founded in 2010. The planned 2020 event would have been the 11th iteration, but the pandemic forced a postponement until 2021.
“We were determined to not have to take another year off,” said co-owner and Event Director Jared Butler. “So, we did what we needed to do to plan ahead in a very uncertain festival climate.” This included making 2021’s Wasteland Weekend a fully-vaccinated event, not even allowing a negative Covid test in place of vaccine proof.
“We had to make a decision in the Spring of 2021 and stick with it. So we went with an admission standard that was very strict at that time, especially for a relatively small outdoor event,” says co-owner and Chief Of Operations Adam Chilson. “But by the time our event rolled around, the variant had forced many other events to do the same.”
Attendance was down slightly to 3,200 participants (compared with their peak of 4,300 in 2019) but is expected to rebound for another sold-out event in 2022. “We’re just so happy to be back,” Butler said. “Wasteland Weekend has always been about survival in a fictionalized, Hollywood-style post-apocalyptic world. This year especially, our survival as an event was very real. Coming back this year was a celebration, the return of an event that means so much to so many people.”
Attendees included many veterans of the large community that the events have spawned, along with a sizable group of first-timers. The number of people walking around the movie-set-like city may have been slightly smaller, but the city itself looked better than ever.
Chilson explained, “The people who were here this year, really wanted to be here, they made that clear with an incredible amount of creative work they put into their private camps and structures. We were blown away at how enthusiastically people stepped up to bring this whole make-believe world back even better than before.”
“We’re definitely back in a big way” adds Butler “with a lot of momentum to build off of going into 2022.”
It’s easy to understand why Wastelanders (as they call themselves) are so passionate about this desert gathering 2 hours North of Los Angeles. Unlike most other desert parties, car shows, or music concerts (and Wasteland is all three), this one requires ALL attendees to be in costume, including staff, volunteers, and journalists. The idea is to create a full-immersion effect, making festival goers feel like they’re inside a Mad Max-style movie for 5 days.
This year’s event ran from September 22nd to September 26th, and included any number of themed distractions from the real world. There were live bands, DJs, car cruises, costume contests, a film festival, a post-apocalyptic swimsuit competition, light-hearted role playing challenges like a bounty-hunting game, crafting workshops, makeovers at the event-sponsored post-apocalyptic beauty salon, fire performers, a 24 hour radio station, an archery range, a daily printed newspaper, bars and lounges, and much, much more.
Now that the post-apocalyptic fire has been relit, and the positive buzz from this year’s attendees is spreading like nuclear fallout. It’s clear this Party at the End of the World is here to stay.
Wasteland Weekend will return in late September of 2022, but coming up first, in the Spring of 2022 is a brand new festival from the same organizers, this one featuring a cyberpunk/sci-fi theme: NEOTROPOLIS – www.neotropolis.com
The history of the event can be found here: HISTORY
A PDF of this document available here: WW press release 2021
Photos on this page may be used by media, credit must include both the listed photographer and Wasteland Weekend. Many photos and videos for media available by request, including hi-res photos for print and photos without watermarks.
Here are some video highlights of Wasteland Weekend 2019, a highlight reel for 2021 will be available soon: