Mad Max Fans Prepare to Live the World of Fury Road - Wasteland Weekend (2024)

Mad Max Fans Prepare to Live the World of Fury Road

May 18, 2015

For anyone under 30, Fury Road will likely be the first time they see a Mad Max film in a movie theater. But as George Miller’s amazing new film creates a new generation of fans (and reignites the guzzoline-filled passions of the older ones), they’ll quickly find that there is already a growing fan community ready to initiate them. Post-apocalyptic fandom — everything from car builders, to cosplayers, to performers — has been growing steadily in the last decade, even before Fury Road was on the horizon. And at the center of that global fan community is a single event: Wasteland Weekend.

The four-day post-apocalyptic party in California’s Mojave desert began in 2010 and has seen steady growth each year. While it embraces many influences (video games like Fallout, films like Book Of Eli, even 80s dystopian music videos), the heart of the gathering has always been the original Mad Max trilogy. And now, with the long-awaited Fury Road finally exploding into cinemas, Wasteland Weekend is poised to embrace the new film and evolve.

“We’ve actually been prepping for Fury Road’s release and its effect on our event, since 2010,” says the event’s director and co-founder Jared Butler.“ For our first gathering, George Miller and his crew sent us a sneak peek video from their pre-production in Australia, featuring the first glimpse of the Gigahorse (the monster car driven by the film’s villain Immortan Joe). Since then, we’ve been waiting and hoping that Fury Road would bring something new to energize the world of post-apocalyptic pop culture.” Not that the genre needed much of a boost; post-apocalyptic films, television, games, and comics have been booming for the last decade. But Fury Road comes from the mind of George Miller, making it the gold standard for most fans of all things dystopian. “He set the standard in the genre for 30 years. Now, he just came in with a whole new vision that will set the standard for the NEXT 30 years,” says Butler.

“There’s so much depth, so much detail in the design of Fury Road,” says Adam Chilson, Wasteland Weekend’s art director and build supervisor. “We’re already building new structures and vehicles that incorporate the film’s look. Wasteland Weekend will always include a lot of familiar imagery from the original Mad Max trilogy, but this year, expect to see updates like an influx of vintage 1930s and 40s modified cars, as well as, I’m sure, an army of War Boys. And a lot of that is going to come from the attendees.”

Wasteland Weekend has always been a fan-made event. While the mostly-volunteer event staff erects some large set pieces and infrastructure, an enormous amount of the atmosphere comes from what the attending fans create and bring themselves, often working with their “tribe” (the group of friends they camp with at the event) for the entire off-season on their cars, costumes, and campsites. Some of them obsessively embrace “screen accuracy,” creating images that even George Miller admits have briefly fooled him into thinking he was looking at a still from one of his films. Other attendees take the general theme and give it their own interpretation. “The amount of skill and creativity out there when it comes to repurposing discarded objects and rusted metal is just incredible,” says Chilson, “and we’re proud that we’ve helped create a venue for people to showcase it all.”

In keeping with the automotive themes in Fury Road, one of the clearest displays of all of this repurposed rust is in the vehicles that are brought out to the event. Last year’s Wasteland Weekend featured over 100 customized, fan-built Mad Max-style cars and motorcycles, driven out from all over the continent, some owners convoying thousands of miles to show off their creations in the temporary desert city. And this year, they expect even more. “You don’t need to bring a themed car to enjoy Wasteland Weekend,” points out Butler, “but everyone who comes without one seems to add building a Mad Max car to their bucket list by the time the weekend is done.” After all, Wasteland Weekend has multiple activities day and night, from archery contests, to fire performers, to bounty hunting games, to a full lineup of live bands, but the Wasteland car cruises are always a highlight.

“There’s nothing like the feeling of riding in a car you’ve worked all year to build and seeing 50 or more Mad Max cars rolling around you, in the wide open desert, with no civilization in sight,” says Chilson. Jared Butler adds “It’s not just the visuals. It’s the sound. We only do low speed cruises at safe speeds, but still, the roar of the V8 engines, the war cries of the Wastelanders, that’s when you really feel like you’re inside a movie.”

And living “inside the movie” is the whole goal of Wasteland Weekend. Unlike some other fan celebrations or desert music festivals, Wasteland requires that ALL attendees wear some kind of post-apocalyptic outfit for the duration of the event, an edict that even extends to performing musicians and visiting media. Full immersion is the goal.

“We’ve been thinking of some new slogans this year,” says Butler. “Love Fury Road? Come out and LIVE Fury Road!” “Be one of the mad!” adds Chilson.

As for the expected growth of the event this year, tickets are still on sale, but organizers have warned that they may have to cap attendance if Fury Road drives ticket sales to a number they feel might be too high for comfort. “We have a well-trained volunteer staff,” explains Pedrick Walker, the event’s operations and security head, “and we have an idea of how many people we can safely entertain this year. We’re not there yet, but if we start getting close to what we can handle, we’ll just declare it ‘sold out’ and then build up our infrastructure some more for an even larger event in 2016.” Chilson adds, “Keeping growth at a manageable pace also helps the event keep its character. The veterans always outnumber the newcomers, so that they can teach them what Wasteland is all about.” Butler agrees, “We have the nicest, most welcoming, bunch of crazy-looking people you’ve ever met at an event. We do all of this for them and they help us grow… and remain one big Wasteland family.”

Wasteland Weekend takes place September 24th – 27th, 2015 in California City, CA
Tickets are on sale at:


Many photos and video for media available by request.

Mad Max Fans Prepare to Live the World of Fury Road - Wasteland Weekend (2024)


What is the main message of Mad Max: Fury Road? ›

Miller described the film's key theme as survival, which he said it has in common with the American Westerns that were "such a staple for the better part of a century in American cinema", while several critics wrote that the primary theme of Mad Max: Fury Road is the attempt to retain humanity in the face of ...

What is the quote at the end of the Fury Road? ›

"Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves" .. Mad Max Fury Road(2015) .. great non stop action flick best on the big screen, ends with this great message: how far are you willing to go to better yourself, and are you doing it for yourself, not others...

Does Wasteland Weekend still exist? ›

We will return September 25th-29th, 2024. Tickets will go on sale sometime in the Spring. — #WastelandWeekend is a fully immersive, 5 day post-apocalyptic Max Max inspired festival featuring bands, bad ass vehicle builds, specialty performers, and more. It takes place September 25th-29th, 2024 in the Mojave Desert.

Do I need to watch the other Mad Max movies before Fury Road? ›

Watching the original films in order will give you a holistic look at the Mad Max world. Not to mention insight into how the current films got their setting and style. It isn't a requirement to understand the franchise. Each film tells a self-contained story with many references to previous films.

Why didn't Max stay with Furiosa? ›

Returning back to Max's extraneous leaving of the Citadel, having found redemption and reacquainting himself with his past, Max feels no obligation to stay as while the Citadel, the Wives, Furiosa, and Nux were his mediums of redemption, they weren't a part of what he was redeeming: his quest was purely for himself and ...

Why Mad Max: Fury Road is a masterpiece? ›

Yeah, Mad Max: Fury Road is the opposite of that. This movie is much more than a sum of it's parts. It's one of the best examples of 'show, don't tell'. Miller built his story through the actions of his characters (a perfect choice for this genre) and meticulous world building.

What was Mad Max's famous line? ›

Max Rockatansky: You know, hope is a mistake. If you can't fix what's broken, you'll, uh... you'll go insane.

What does schlanger mean in German? ›

Schlanger Name Meaning

Jewish (Ashkenazic): artificial name from German Schlange 'snake' + the agent suffix -er.

What does we who wander this wasteland mean? ›

but i think the quote “ where we must go we who wonder this wasteland in search of our better sleves” was a quote that kind of meant max found peace with himself. but he not sure where he will go since he knows that if you wonder the wasteland there no going back.

What is banned on Wasteland Weekend list? ›

Racists, bigots, hom*ophobes, transphobes, and misogynists are not welcome at Wasteland events or in our community. Wasteland Weekend explicitly forbids discrimination based on race, religion, gender, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, medical condition, ethnicity, or national origin.

What is the Wasteland Weekend based on? ›

Wasteland Weekend was the result. A desert festival based heavily on the Mad Max films, but incorporating other iconic pieces of post-apocalyptic pop culture. The 2010 event attracted approximately 300 people, as well as media attention.

Are guns allowed at Wasteland Weekend? ›

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.

Is Mad Max: Fury Road a masterpiece? ›

Audience Reviews

if you get a chance to watch this masterpiece in the movie theater do it. One of the greatest action movies ever made. Content collapsed.

Will there ever be a sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road? ›

Is Mad Max: Fury Road inappropriate? ›

It's extremely violent, with nonstop chase scenes, explosions, deaths, blood, shooting, and stabbing, as well as violence against women (including a bloody scene involving a pregnant woman), nightmarish flashbacks, diseased flesh, and other disturbing imagery.

What is the meaning of Fury Road? ›

"Fury Road" is used by the Warboys like the word "warpath", It is the trail of destruction they leave, the path of the military might. It also is the name of the road between the Citadel and Gastown, if I'm not mistaken.

What are the main themes of Mad Max? ›

Themes of the original Mad Max (1979)
  • The struggle for survival and the loss of humanity. At the heart of "Mad Max" is the character of Max Rockatansky, brilliantly portrayed by Mel Gibson. ...
  • The pursuit of revenge and its consequences. ...
  • The exploration of masculinity and the portrayal of gender roles in Mad Max.
May 23, 2023

Why does Max barely talk in Fury Road? ›

In Fury Road, he doesn't know how to speak from years of solitude (which was wrongly attributed to Tom Hardy's inability to portray an Australian accent), he has severe PTSD, he has frequent audio and visual hallucinations, and acts more like a caged animal than a person.

What is the back story of Mad Max: Fury Road? ›

Synopsis. Following a nuclear holocaust, the world has become a desert wasteland and civilization has collapsed. Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a survivor, is captured by the War Boys, the army of the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and taken to Joe's Citadel.


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