A half-inch of rain has created chaos at this year’s Burning Man festival as thousands of stranded attendees have been told to shelter in place and conserve resources after the Nevada desert turned into a muddy mess.
As a result of the rainfall — with another quarter-inch downpour from thunderstorms expected through the weekend — the roads into and out of Black Rock City where the desert festival is held have been closed for the remainder of Burning Man, and area airports have also temporarily closed due to the wet weather conditions. Thousands of festivalgoers, essentially, are stuck there in the mud.
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“For anyone in BRC, help each other stay safe,” organizers tweeted Friday night. “The gate and airport in and out of Black Rock City remain closed. Ingress and egress are halted for the time being. Stay prepared for adverse weather conditions continuing through the night and into Saturday.”
Organizers later warned Saturday afternoon, “Do not travel to Black Rock City! Access to the city is closed for the remainder of the event, and you will be turned around.” Burning Man also recommended that those trapped in Black Rock Desert to “conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space.”
The Gate and airport in and out of Black Rock City remain closed. Ingress and egress are halted until further notice. No driving is permitted except emergency vehicles. If you are in BRC, conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space. More updates to come.
— Burning Man Traffic (@bmantraffic) September 2, 2023
Burning Man runs through Sept. 4, with the festival concluding with its annual torching of a 40-foot effigy; it’s unclear if that tradition will be canceled this year due to the weather.
Likely complicating matters is the fact that Burning Man is a “commerce-free event” where cash is discouraged and goods and services are acquired via trade. Unfortunately, you can’t barter with Mother Nature.
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