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 (circled in red).

What does that mean for you and your tribe? This is your chance to be in the thick of things and a part of the action! Fully-themed camps need to submit an application for pre-placement within the Theme Zone or Wasteland City.

Instructions on how to apply are at the bottom of this page.

Resources and Tools for Theme Zone Tribes

We built tools for tribes including Instructions on how to Apply for Theme Zone placement, Camp Layout templates, Best Practices guide, Tribe FAQ’s and much more! Visit the Tribe Resources folder to view and download all the tools.


Read the entire FAQ and familiarize yourself with the event rules BEFORE filling out the application form.

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.

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 out of your camp during the event.) Camp decoration, nighttime lighting and interactivity with passing Wastelanders is highly encouraged. Your camp must fit within the accepted Post-Apocalyptic themes and provide a fully immersive atmosphere.

What other criteria go into the approval process?

Adherence to theme, interactivity, great costumes, awesome vehicles, history of no security/medical issues, and of course a willingness to work with Wasteland management and staff. NO bright colors, neon, 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.

How big (small) does my tribe themed 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.

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

Yes. We need to see where you are in your build. Gather what you do have, and set it up. Take photos both daytime, and at night (as we need to see your lighting) and include the best clear and in focus shots in the application.Then create a free facebook page (or website) and continue to upload your updated pics to that as you finish things (we DO look at these).  There is a spot in the application to insert your fb or website URL, plug it in there, as this is the only way we will know if you are actually on schedule to complete your builds before the event.

What if I want to apply for the theme zone NEXT year?

Many of our placed tribes started as “unofficial” tribes. Impress the hell outta us and bring your A-game. We are always on the lookout for scrappy upstarts with excellent theming that are bringing their brand of fun to Wasteland. Make sure to take lots of good quality photos of your camp setup and activities (both day and night) so that you can use them on the application for next year!

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

Yes, every tribe must apply each year.

When is the deadline to apply?

APPLICATION DEADLINE WAS JULY 5th, 2023 at noon (PST). It is now closed.

We are doing notifications differently; tribes should expect to hear whether they have been accepted or not within a week or so of submitting their applications so that if accepted, they can have the most time possible to prepare.

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

Sure (if your camp plans are approved), 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 and remember that the hard work that tribes do all year to plan their camps is rewarded- as placement is a privilege.

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

No. We do not want the phenomenon of “campooling” to occur. Approved tribes that have done the work to fully-theme their camp and received placement are 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.

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 your allocated space.

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. We’re always up to grant a little extra set up time for camps that truly bring something epic.

Does approved placement mean our camp gets to arrive before the event begins?


Yes, but only for the number of Work Access Passes that were approved.
Joining or being a member of an approved and placed tribe does not automatically grant early work access. 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 Work Access status for everyone in your tribe. Work Access Passes will be emailed to the camp lead. It is up to the camp lead to distribute their allotment of WAP’s to their build crews.

Does approved placement mean our camp gets early arrival?

Yes, but only for the number of early work access passes that were approved (previously called “early arrival passes”).
Joining or being a member of an approved and placed tribe does not automatically grant early work access. 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 work access status for everyone in your tribe. Work Access Passes will be emailed to the camp lead. It is up to the camp leadto distribute their allotment of WAP’s to their build crews.

Does every member of my tribe or camp get to arrive before the event starts?

No, only people with assigned Work Access Passes are allowed to arrive before the event starts to build and set up.

I’m in before the event starts, can I save extra space for my friends?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! LAND GRABBING IS NOT ALLOWED! That means no non-approved satellite camps (“reserving” space outside the theme zone), no non-themed “members”, or friends just wanting to use your approval status to get in early and party.


If we catch any members of your camp attempting to reserve space or setup outside the themed camping zone or designated satellite camping areas before the event is open on Wednesday, they will be ejected from the event, and your entire tribe will lose its placement and good standing. Choose the names on your Work Access Pass list wisely.


Does our camp have to arrive early, 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 arrive early. However Wasteland City Tribes need to be open and running by Gate Opening on Wednesday! We cannot have holes in our layout after Wasteland begins, so plan your builds accordingly. Any unclaimed spaces may be allocated to new arrivals and camps on the waiting list. If we have to scramble to fill the void your tribe left, it can affect future placement.

What if my camp requires additional teardown time?

Your camp better be epic. When filling out the application, you may request tear down passes for a small crew to remain after the event. We strongly suggest this skeleton crew only consists of the actual individuals absolutely essential to dismantling and cleaning up your campsite (Trash Pandas). This is not a pass to party.  Teardown passes will be sent to your tribe lead for distribution. If they don’t have a pass, they will need to leave the premises by the end of the event, which is 4 PM PST on Sunday.  They will not be approved to remain on-site. Do not come to staff asking for exemptions.

Trash Pandas should report to the Wasteland Command Center during the hours of 1pm to 4pm on Sunday to exchange their teardown passes (BRING A PRINTED COPY) for “Late Stay” wrist bands for their tribe. No walk-ups!

Security and local police will be doing an event-wide sweep starting 6pm. Wristbands will be checked. The event is over. If you don’t have a teardown wristband, you don’t need to be there.. 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.

My camp wants to vend at Wasteland, so do we need to fill out VENDOR’s Application?

Yes. Anyone who is vending (for currency transactions) needs to fill out a Vendor’s Application. Trade and Bartering is allowed by anyone, but anyone selling items for money must be an approved vendor(with proper business licenses and permits). Due to California law; YOU CANNOT VEND WITHOUT A LICENCE! Check out our Vendors page here. Make sure you have read and understand it all before doing anything. Anyone found vending without proper credentials may be escorted from the event without a refund.

We want to have a DJ, or a stage, or do Karaoke, or otherwise have amplified sound for our camp, is that ok?

Generally, no. Tribes may not have any audio amplification that violates our no rogue sound systems rule, and may not have a performance stage (even a small one) without prior approval.

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 giving them work access passes.

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 and 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 pre-event), 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 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.

When is the deadline to apply again?

JULY 5th, 2023 at noon (PST).no applications will be accepted after that date.


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?

Contact Wasteland’s Tribe Development Manager Miranda “Nomad” at

For questions about vending, please email our Vendor Coordinator, Jen “Winter” Harte



Step 1. Open the Tribe Resources Folder where all Tribe tools live: 

Step 2. View the 2 video tutorials (they’re from 2018, but it’s basically the same).

  • Tribes – What’s New for 2018 Part 1
  • Tribes – How to fill out the Application Part 2

Step 3. Open the doc called “Step by Step Directions,” and create the items listed by using the tools in the Tribe Resources folder.

Step 4. Once you have ALL the items on the list prepared and ready to go, open the link to the form below.

Step 5. After you have successfully submitted the application, you should receive an email confirmation stating that we have received your application.


Theme Zone applications for Wasteland Weekend 2023 are open, APPLY HERE

Wasteland Weekend