Boxwars & Boxcars

Fight or be recycled

Feature by Sophie Kyle | 16 Apr 2006

If you haven't already heard about the frantic cardboard and packing tape fest that is Boxwars, be warned, another age is upon us. Many people have fond memories of dressing up as a young children, making paper hats, creating dens out of furniture and defending homemade forts from the evil advances of smelly older brothers; well Boxwars is the adult-size, adult-scale reincarnation of those memories.

With Boxwars UK's tag line 'fight or be recycled' ringing in their ears, hundreds of participants, spectators and fans have been regularly gathering at the Forest Café in Edinburgh to beat the pulp out of each other with every imaginable kind of cardboard weapons and armoury. There are no rules, no ethos but underlying it all a simple unstoppable urge for chaos and creativity.

The brainchild of five youthfully box obsessed young men from Melbourne, Australia, Boxwars was born in a backyard when they created armour, fought, then dispersed and in the quiet reflection after the sweat of battle, realised they had created something they could not easily let go. Evidence suggests the feeling is contagious.

Over the last two years Boxwars has crept across the globe to our very own tiny box-filled land, where it has become firmly established and continues to spread its obsession for simple cardboard boxes and packing tape. Erratic reports of boxed-up people wandering the streets were heard at first, cardboard people began to meet, and then the popular media began to report of organised regular events in public places.

The Boxwars Council have managed to create a frenzy of excitement, happiness and perversion-free body-contact activity for adults. These unique events bridge the sometimes cavernous gorge between age-old conventions and expectations of mature, respectable adult behaviour, and the joy and manic spontaneity of childhood play.

Two hundred people attended the last Boxwars event in Edinburgh to watch twenty-eight brave cardboard-clad warriors fight down to the last shred of tape. The days of backyards are long gone; the next event is a BoxCars Race at Arthur's Seat on Sat 22nd April. With a grand prize of a potato, the event will take place if only to prove that anything is possible when done with a childlike gleefulness. Unmissable.

Next event Sat 22 April BoxCars on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh. Pease see for more information, images of previous wars and how to become an official Boxwars Warrior.