Festivals are no new thing nowadays. Burning Man and Coachella, two art and music festivals that take place in the desert, have become household names. There’s one though, that’s new but makes these other festivals look like picnics in the park by comparison. We’re talking about Wasteland, a Mad Max-themed event where the Mojave Desert is turned into the “world’s largest post-apocalyptic festival,” making it “a glorious vision of hell on earth,” says the writer for an article in Wired.

For four days in September, this festival takes hold, where the attendees pretend civilization as we know it has ended and the people who are left have no choice but to ravage the remnants of a scorched, dead planet to gather the means for survival. This past year, about 2,500 people attended, the largest crowd in the past 7 years the festival has been taking place.

The attendees divide up into tribes with names like Skulduggers and Vermin Vagabonds and immerse themselves. Costumes are mandatory, so you won’t be let in if you’re not participating. It also doesn’t work to dress up in a theme that doesn’t fit the Wasteland theme . . . like Star Wars. That won’t fly. Having it in the desert is brilliant, because the heat and dust covers everything with an authentic layer of grime and an impossible-to-escape reflection of the sun’s constant shining. According to Jared Butler, the event’s cofounder and director, the festival has appeal to people who want to be prepared for the world’s end, or at least, who want to look like they’re prepared for it. “Some will be well prepared,” says Jared Butler, Wasteland’s event director and cofounder. “The others, well, they’ll be poorly prepared, but they’ll look fabulous.” Check out the Wired article for a slideshow of photos from this past event.

Image courtesy of Wired.com.