Wasteland Left Me Wondering What Else I’ve Missed Out On In Life
Submitted by: Mick
Photos by: David Fullam
Mixed with trepidation and excitement, I approached Wasteland from the perspective of a journalist who was about to be out of his element. I parked behind the Visulite in my normal spot, gathered my recorder, and headed in. Outside the back door to the green room was a rack of costumes and props….oh boy.
I came through the door right in the middle of sound checks. I had hoped to set up my mobile studio in the foyer, but I had forgotten how small it was. And one look around the setup, and I knew. I was not prepared for this. I didn’t really know what Wasteland was in the first place. I kept referring to it as a freak show, which in hindsight is not accurate and at the very least, a little demeaning.
I found Mandy Kimrey, the founder and soul of Mandyland Entertainment, buzzing around in typical stage manager fashion, shouting direction, and warning everyone that if they were illegally parked they’d better “move their shit before it gets towed.” Oh….we is going to get along just fine, I thought. I introduced myself to her, and she said hi, and continued on her frantic pace. I’d come at the wrong time. One of the lessons I’m learning in this game. I cannot allow my quest for stories interfere in the actual act of the art itself.
She introduced me to the dance performance duo of Satarah. I did do a short interview with them that will eventually find its way into an episode of the podcast. But while talking to them I started to really get a picture of what it was that I was here to see.
This is a community of people from all walks of life, who gather here to enjoy their differences, express their individuality, and cut free from the social confines that bind them in their day to day life. In a crowd that I would normally feel intimidated or at least out of place, I found myself surrounded by warm people who were really just there to love. This is a bit of a mind fuck, when that love is coming from a man dressed as some sort of Viking Navy SEAL.
The fans trickled in, and the scene started to take shape. The room was decorated in a post-goth apocalyptic motif, complete with a fortune teller, rope bondage area and the Thunderdome. Thunderdome you ask? It was a roped off area where people could sign a waiver and fight against friends or strangers with a myriad of weaponry. From foam covered bats, to dildo nun chucks, you get the picture. This is a hedonistic comic-con of love and music.
Attendees were asked to wear a costume, and they did not disappoint. Road warriors, zombie hunting school girls, and a guy whose apocalypse seems to be colder than many, wearing a fleece lined jacket and cap. And I watched as every single one of them came in, and smiled at the scene on stage. There were abundant hugs and catching up. Like I said, this is clearly a community of people who have tremendous love for each other.
I could write up the performances I saw. I could write paragraphs describing to you the mix of music played by The Bastard Band, while performance artists left your jaw on the floor, and somehow wanting more. But…..instead, I think you should go see for yourself. Part concert, part Chris Rose Sideshow, you have to witness it to really appreciate it.
On September 1, Mandyland Entertainment will be hosting another event called the Mystics Ball, which is a masquerade event with a similar format. I cannot recommend it enough. My wife came out for Wasteland, complete with a costume. And we just had a blast. I can’t imagine very many people, once you get past your own insecurities, NOT having a blast. If you need to add a little sizzle to your life, the Mystics Ball will be the spot for you. I’ll be covering that in its entirety, and as it should be done. So keep an eye out for that, and remember you freaks…..
“… love is all good people need. And music sets the sick ones free. Without love no one ever grows, nothing gonna ever sing” Andrew Wood, Mother Love Bone