Boxwars is a fast-growing entertainment phenomenon that takes the childhood pastime of playing with cardboard boxes to a whole new level. Participants use reclaimed cardboard to create the full range of battle gear – armour, weapons, monster trucks, tanks, gigantic animals, and more. Then they put on monumental battle shows during which every creation is completely destroyed!
Boxwars is the brainchild of Australian friends Hoss Siegel and Ross Koger, who came up with it nearly a decade ago over drinks. “There was a lot of drinking involved,” Koger said in an interview. “We sort of imagined this concept one day, and thought yeah let's give it a go. We did it at a party and had a great time, and thought let's do this again!”
Koger explained that with each new boxwar party, the suits and structures became more and more elaborate until they couldn't fit in their back gardens any more. So they decided to move the party to a local park on Boxing Day 2002 (how fitting), and people who were having barbecues at the park rushed over to watch them. And that's when they realised that their silly games actually had huge entertainment value.
“That was the beginning of Boxwars,” Koger said, “and we go to the same spot every year on Boxing day! The suits, since then, have gotten more elaborate as have the crowds, and it's funny that something which spawned from a stupid idea at a party has become so big.”
Today, Boxwars builds complex structures, armour, props, and sets, for each themed battle. The sport has expanded beyond Boxing Day – it is now a part of nearly every major festival or event in Australia and around the world. “We do props and workshops,” Koger explained. “For Stereosonic last year, we built these large robots with lights that hung over the crowd. This year's Sydney Festival we did a Mad Max theme where we shut down a city street and drove dune buggies down it!”And for the Down on the Farm music festival in Victoria, they did a kangaroo cull-themed battle with the warriors donning giant 'roo suits' and armour, 'driving' their monster trucks.
Boxwars is now run by the Boxwars Council (consisting of Hoss and Ross), and has legions of fans across the globe.