Burning Man is one of the world's most well-known festivals, attracting tens of thousands of partygoers to Nevada in the US every year. This year, thanks to intense rainfall off the back of Hurricane Hilary, some 70,000 people — including celebs — have been trapped in the mud bath, with officials encouraging the stranded to save food, fuel and even water.
What you need to know
Burning Man is a music, arts and dance festival that lasts nine days and has been held in the American desert since 1986.
This year, over 70,000 people have become stranded in the middle of Nevada after extreme weather turned the grounds and nearby campsite into complete sludge.
One person has reportedly died at the festival, although the cause of death not been confirmed, nor whether it is linked to the flooding.
Access in and out of the festival grounds has been stopped, trapping everyone inside. Those left behind include former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan.
🗣️ What they said
Burning Man organisers: "Participants are encouraged to conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space."
Aussie singer Casey Donovan: "Good thing is, we are safe, we have food and 'dryish' shelter. It is very moist here and the forecast is for more rain over the next few days... fingers and toes crossed for some sunshine to clear things up."
Diplo, DJ: "I legit walked the side of the road for hours with my thumb out because I have a show in D.C. tonight and didn't want to let ya'll down".
The Pershing County Sheriff's Office announced it was "currently investigating a death which occurred during this rain event".
💬 Conversation starter
Wild footage of the mud-fest has been posted all over social media, with people spotted covered head-to-toe in thick, brown sludge, cars bogged in the mess, dreary grey skies and those who weren't already doused in dirt have been seen donning garbage bags in a —mostly fruitless — effort to stay clean.
Footage of Diplo hitchhiking his way out of the festival has since gone viral on social media.
— 🌈 Tess T. Eccles-Brown, PhD (@TTEcclesBrown) September 3, 2023
⏭️ So what next?
Burning officially ends today, though there's still no word on how the 70,000 people stranded within the grounds will be able to leave the area, given that roads and highways are still shut-off.
Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management said “more rain is expected over the next few days”, posing more danger of flooding and further stranding attendees for even longer. While, authorities have maintained the festival is more thought-out than other large-scale events, such as Coachella, which also struggled with crowd management in recent times.
🗞️ For more on the Burning Man saga
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