Man being spray painted in the mouth
Photos by Stephen Olweck

Photos of People Partying at the apoXeast Apocalypse Festival

Doomsday enthusiasts descended on a tiny rural Pennsylvania town for apoXeast, a weekend-long rager celebrating humanity's inevitable destruction.

Deep in the northern forests of Pennsylvania, a corner of the country better known for its post-coal towns and its Pennsyltucky culture, you’ll find a temporary outpost of cosplayers pretending the apocalypse has already come. And at a time when prepping suddenly seems a lot more rational, why not test-drive our eventual doom? (Especially when that means partying.)

A woman in the forest dressed in a post-apocalyptic costume

A partier named Swamp Witch.

An old ambulance is parked under the apoXeast sign

An old ambulance parked under the apoXeast sign.

Photographer Stephen Olweck recently attended apoXeast, a yearly festival that’s really a family gathering of freaks who love the end of the world. At aXe, you can learn how to distress leather, get painted Mad Max-style chrome in a barn, or slam drinks from the bunker-themed bar and take in a performance from V2A, which is apparently one of the premiere post-apocalyptic bands out there. Some attendees camp in their period-appropriate tents, while others sleep in cabins built by the Amish in some faraway past. Just don’t wander too far into the forest—packs of coyotes like to hang out there, and they’re not cosplaying. —Ricardo Nagaoka, photo editor

A person is being spray painted in the mouth by a band member on stage

Dr. Octopussy being chromed during the V2A performance.

L: A person with chrome paint around their mouth. R: A person with skull face paint poses for the camera

Termite after being chromed; Cymek 1055, a member of V2a.

A band plays on a stage inside a barn, an attendee's prop gun is raised in the foreground

V2A raging.

A post-apocalyptic themed bar with a bartender serving drinks behind a fence

The Guzzoline Canteen.

A man dressed in camouflage stands inside a dirty barn

The dummer for V2A.

L: A man getting help putting on a prop gas mask. R: A woman shows her prosthetic severed penis, nose, and mouth.

Sky Daddy masking up; a scarily well-made cock prosthetic.

A post-apocalyptic themed tent with fake skeleton corpses sitting on a camping chair

The Drunken Blades Tribe tent.

A man in dirty clothes stands with a skeleton doll in front of a post-apocalyptic themed tent

Rotzo the Clown.

A group of attendees hang out in a field with tents and a post-apocalyptic themed truck

Taking a break with the tribe.

A man in a post-apocalyptic themed costume that includes a leather mask


Follow Stephen Olweck on Instagram.