Stranded in the Mud: Heavy Rains Cause Chaos at Burning Man Festival

The annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, has been hit by heavy rains, turning the desert into a muddy mess.[0] Tens of thousands of festival-goers have been stranded in their camps, with no driving allowed in or out of the city except for emergency vehicles. The gate and airport into Black Rock City have been closed, leaving attendees to conserve food, water, and fuel while sheltering in a warm and safe space.[1] The Bureau of Land Management and Pershing County Sheriff's Office have closed the entrance to the festival for the remainder of the event, which was scheduled to go until Monday.[2] The closure is due to the muddy conditions caused by the rain, with more rain expected over the next few days. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch in the area through Monday morning.[3] Attendees have been warned not to drive or ride bikes and to secure their structures and belongings in their camps. Videos and photos posted on social media show people struggling to walk through the mud, with some resorting to tying trash bags around their shoes and legs.[4] Despite the challenges, festival organizers are urging burners to stay within their camps and continue to conserve resources.[5] The Burning Man festival, which attracts more than 70,000 people each year, is a global ecosystem of artists, makers, and community organizers who co-create art and events.[6] The festival began in San Francisco in 1986 and moved to Nevada in 1991.[6]

0. “Burning Man freezes! Revelers are catching HYPOTHERMIA and fleeing to local bars for warmth as torrential rain” Daily Mail, 2 Sep. 2023,

1. “Burning Man dubbed ‘Trench Foot 2023’ as rain drenches event, attendees stuck in mud told to ‘conserve food, water, and fuel’” Fortune, 2 Sep. 2023,

2. “Burning Man Entrance Closed Due to Weather | News |” KTVN, 2 Sep. 2023,

3. “Chris Rock Escapes Burning Man After He and Diplo Hitch a Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck” Entertainment Tonight, 2 Sep. 2023,

4. “Some Burning Man attendees opt to walk away as rain has festival locked in mud” NBC News, 2 Sep. 2023,

5. “Burning Man festival-goers trapped in desert as rain turns site to mud” The Guardian, 2 Sep. 2023,

6. “Diplo and Chris Rock Escape Burning Man Festival After Catching Ride in Fan’s Pickup Truck” Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2023,

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