Scenes from Wasteland, the annual Mad Max tribute event in the Mojave desert

In 2009, we covered a "one time only 'Road Warrior Weekend' campout" — now, seven years later, it's an annual event called Wasteland, and it's better than ever.

Wired has a gallery of some of the amazing cosplay and heavy LARPing at last weekend's Wasteland in the Mojave desert.

Wasteland is fully immersive. Costumes are mandatory—no gawkers allowed—and must be in character. Don't even think about crossing over from another universe like Star Wars. Attendees come from all over the country and spend the year before planning their get-ups and car mods. And if the world ever really does go to hell? "Some will be well prepared," says Jared Butler, Wasteland's event director and co-founder. "The others, well, they'll be poorly prepared, but they'll look fabulous."

During the day, the sun transforms every metal surface into a sheet of fire. The grime is inescapable, coating tents, vehicles, and bodies alike in a sheen of sweat and sand. The noise never lets up, the bass-heavy thud of the dance pit joining the roar of engines and the cheers of those watching fighters clash in jugger matches. And when night falls, things really get crazy.

Wasteland: The Mad Max Festival That Makes Burning Man Look Lame [Anna Merlan/Wired]

(Images by Tod Seelie)