Wasteland Weekend is a five-day post-apocalyptic themed festival held in California’s Mojave Desert. It has been dubbed “the most immersive post-apocalyptic event on the planet.” But of all the activities and experiences that Wasteland Weekend has to offer, the one that stands out from the rest is the Thunderdome. So, what exactly is it? Let’s break it down!
What Is The Thunderdome?
The Thunderdome at Wasteland Weekend is an arena dedicated to 2-person simulated combat using foam boffer weapons. It is meant to be a relatively safe, non-lethal reenactment of the famous “Two men enter, one man leaves” battle cage from Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (1985). Combatants are recruited online, in advance, from Wasteland Weekend ticket holders.
The arena is run by Death Guild Thunderdome, a group associated with the Death Guild night club of San Francisco (the longest continually operating goth/industrial dance club in the US). They have been setting up the dome at Burning Man for over 2 decades, and it has made special appearances at several music festivals.
How Fighting Is Done in The Thunderdome
At the Thunderdome, combatants are strapped into harnesses and suspended by bungees on opposite ends of the dome. Combat takes place in rounds, as fighters are released at each by Thunderdome staff. Fighters must use foam weapons to mercilessly beat their opponent. All fights are overseen by trained referees who will separate tangled combatants, or stop a fight if it becomes too dangerous or if a fighter appears to be injured beyond repair.
The referee judges each combatant’s performance and chooses a winner.
And while bouncing around on bungee cords may seem like an effortless ballet in the movie, combatants’ positions are actually fine-tuned in real time by experienced staff members using a system of ropes and pulleys. It is exhausting work, and it is the reason why fights are only held for a couple of hours each night.
How To Sign Up To Participate In Thunderdome Fights
If you think you have what it takes to enter the ring at Wasteland Weekend’s Thunderdome then you can sign up online.
A Google form is usually posted by a member of the Death Guild Thunderdome on Wasteland Weekend’s main Facebook group, Wastelander Central, but you might also find the form on the Death Guild Thunderdome website, or the Wasteland Weekend website’s current entertainment page. The form might appear about a month or two before the event, and you must sign up, with your pre-selected sparring partner, by the deadline (usually a couple days before the event starts).
Once you have registered for a fight at the Thunderdome you will receive an email confirmation along with details about when and where your fight will take place as well as further instructions about attending one of the mandatory training sessions.
While sign-ups for combatants are required, climbing up the dome to be a spectator is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There’s nothing like getting these unique front row seats to the adrenaline-pumping action!
Other Activities At The Thunderdome
In addition to fighting matches, the Thunderdome also hosts dance nights with DJs once the matches are done. You’ll probably hear a lot of interesting mash-ups. Bring a mask because it can get a bit dusty with all the feet stomping on the sand.
When it comes to post-apocalyptic fun, nothing beats experiencing Wasteland Weekend’s very own Thunderdome! With intense fights and dance nights; this truly is an experience like no other! Whether you’re looking for some action in the ring yourself or simply want to watch others battle it out; make sure not miss out on all of this post-apocalyptic fun! Sign up today and get ready for an unforgettable experience at Wasteland Weekend’s very own Thunderdome!