Heavy rain has brought chaos to Burning Man festival.
The festival is held in the Black Rock desert, an area usually dominated by dust and scorching temperatures. More than 70,000 people have descended on the site, an ad hoc mixture of sound systems and live performances, held together by its usual trademark jocular anarchy.
This year has brought extreme weather, however, with heavy rain turning the site to mud. Up to one inch of rain has fallen over the site this weekend, and combined with traffic churning the ground has led to serious mud issues.
Revellers are attempting to keep the festival spirit going, but those attempting to leave have become trapped in mud.
Let's check in on how things are going at Burning Man. pic.twitter.com/e01ZCFiae1— CONSEQUENCE (@consequence) September 3, 2023
Due to conditions the festival team can’t get trucks on-site to empty the toilets, while revellers have been urged to stay at the Neveda location until the situation improves. To make travel easier, some Burning Man attendees have ripped up plastic bags and covered their legs and feet with them, in an attempt to gain traction.
Burning Man 2023 is now declared a national emergency by the US government. Over 70,000 people are stranded at Black Rock City in Nevada.
pic.twitter.com/9moPqyFcKJmdash; Antonio Sabato Jr (@AntonioSabatoJr) September 3, 2023
Supreme Court lawyer Neal Katyel was an attendee, and his harrowing journey off-site has gone viral. “It was an incredibly harrowing 6 mile hike at midnight through heavy and slippery mud, but I got safely out of Burning Man. Never been before and it was fantastic (with brilliant art and fabulous music)…except the ending.”
It was an incredibly harrowing 6 mile hike at midnight through heavy and slippery mud, but I got safely out of Burning Man. Never been before and it was fantastic (with brilliant art and fabulous music)…except the ending. pic.twitter.com/jhxsOfNp5y— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) September 3, 2023
American dance star Diplo walked for five miles, before hitching a lift with Chris Rock – lucky for some!
just walked 5 miles in the mud out of burning man with chris rock and a fan picked us up pic.twitter.com/0uxSXLHgY6— diplo (@diplo) September 2, 2023
Whilst this is undoubtedly a serious situation, not everyone online is sympathetic to the plight of those attending Burning Man. With its counter cultural ethos and often middle class clientele, some have used the moment to poke fun at the festival as a whole:
You're laughing? Influencers at Burning Man are unable to fulfill sponsored content agreements and you're laughing?— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 3, 2023
This is breaking news, and will be updated as the story continues.