Thousands stranded by flooding at Burning Man in Nevada desert.

Stranded⁣ in the Desert: Burning⁣ Man Turns into a Mud Pit

Tens of thousands of partygoers are currently marooned ‍in the ‍northern Nevada desert after a late-summer storm⁤ transformed⁣ the‌ week-long counterculture fest, ⁢Burning Man, ‍into a muddy ⁤mess.

The main road leading out ‍of the festival remains impassable⁤ due to​ the mud, leaving RVs and vehicles ⁢stranded. However, organizers are hopeful that ⁤traffic‌ will start ⁣moving ‍around ⁤noon on Monday.

This year,⁢ the ​festival had to ‌be closed to vehicles after heavy⁤ rainfall⁣ on Friday soaked the Black Rock Desert, located about ‍110 miles north of Reno.

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Burning Man‍ is an annual gathering that attracts nearly 80,000 artists, musicians,​ and activists for a unique blend of wilderness camping ‍and avant-garde performances. Disruptions have become⁤ somewhat of a​ tradition for the event, ‍with temporary closures ​in 2018 due to dust⁤ storms and ⁣two cancellations during the ⁣pandemic.

Despite the challenges, the spirit ‌of the festival remains‌ high. Scott London, a photographer from Southern California, ​shared, “We are a ‍little bit dirty and muddy but spirits⁣ are high. ⁤The party⁢ is still⁢ going.” He also mentioned that ‍the travel limitations ⁣offered a ⁢different perspective of Burning Man⁣ that ‍many‍ don’t usually get to see.

The⁣ road closures happened just before the​ scheduled burning of “the Man,” a large wooden effigy that serves as a centerpiece for the festival. Organizers ​have postponed the burning to Monday night as they‌ work on​ reopening the​ exit routes‍ by the end of ⁤the Labor Day weekend.

The Man structure, which is normally burned on Saturday night, looms over the Burning Man encampment after a severe rainstorm left ​tens of thousands of⁢ revelers attending the annual festival stranded in mud in Black⁤ Rock ‍City in the Nevada desert on Sept. 3, 2023. (Trevor Hughes/USA Today Network via Reuters)

While there has been ‌one reported fatality ‍at the festival, Burning Man ⁤organizers clarified that it ‍was unrelated to the weather. The sheriff of​ nearby Pershing County is currently investigating the incident.

President‌ Joe Biden has been‌ briefed​ on⁢ the‌ situation and ⁤is in contact with ⁣local ‍officials. However, the cause ⁢of death is still unknown.

With motorized traffic prohibited,⁤ attendees have been ⁢trudging through the mud,⁤ some barefoot or with ‍makeshift footwear.⁤ They have​ been advised to‌ conserve their supplies of food and⁤ water, ⁣leading ⁢most to remain at the‌ site.

Dub ⁢Kitty and ‌Ben Joos walk ‌through the mud at⁣ Burning Man after a night of ⁣dancing with ‍friends in Black Rock City in the Nevada desert ‌on‍ Sept. 2, 2023, after a rainstorm turned the site into ​mud. (Trevor Hughes/USA Today Network via Reuters)

Celebrity DJ​ Diplo‍ shared a video on Instagram, ‍showing him ​and comedian Chris Rock hitching a ride in⁣ the back of a fan’s pickup truck after walking ⁣six miles through the ⁢mud.

The event is ‍known for ⁢its⁤ remote location​ and emphasis on ⁤self-sufficiency, with attendees bringing ​their‍ own supplies. Despite the⁤ challenging conditions, the​ community has ⁤shown resilience, ​with⁤ many posting muddy selfies, ‍dancing, and​ enjoying the ‍makeshift lakes.

Rebecca Barger,⁤ a photographer‍ from ​Philadelphia, expressed her ‍determination to⁤ stay until‌ the ‍end of Burning ⁢Man,⁣ stating, “I’m not leaving until both ‘The Man’ and ‘The Temple’ burn.” She also mentioned the lack of toilet options due ‌to the⁣ inability ​of ⁢trucks to reach the site for cleaning⁢ since the rainstorm ⁣on Friday. However, some revelers ⁤reported that⁣ cleaning operations had resumed on Sunday.

To ⁤navigate the muddy clay, Ms. Barger cleverly covered her shoes with‍ plastic bags and socks. Others opted to ‍go barefoot.

“Everyone ‌has ju

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