Thousands of attendees of the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert were stuck there on Sunday after heavy rain on Friday night led officials to close the road that leads in and out of the makeshift town.
More rain was expected on Sunday, and organizers have told attendees to conserve food and water. The festival’s main event, the burning of a manlike sculpture, was postponed for a second time until Monday night.
The police on Sunday were also investigating the death of one person at the festival.
Here is what is known so far about this year’s Burning Man.
How did people get trapped at Burning Man?
The festival is held each year in Black Rock City, a temporary community created in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada.
Each year, it hosts more than 70,000 people who travel from around the world to the desolate, arid landscape. Those people typically have to contend with fine dust, not mud and rain.
It is far from major cities — the nearest is Reno, which is more than 140 miles away.
To get to Burning Man, people must either make it to the two-lane rural highway that leads to the festival’s gate or fly into its small, temporary airport.
The muddy conditions also obstructed the ability of event organizers to move heavy equipment, including for fire safety, before they burned the manlike sculpture as had been planned on Sunday night, according to a social media account affiliated with The Burning Man Project.
How are people getting out?
Some people walked from the festival to the main roads and hitchhiked.
In a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Diplo, the D.J. and producer, said he and Chris Rock had “walked 5 miles in the mud” to get out.
Some vehicles with four-wheel drive have been able to get through the mud and leave, Burning Man organizers said.
Organizers cautioned that other vehicles were getting stuck in the mud, making it more difficult for everyone to leave. Burning Man organizers asked people to avoid driving on Sunday.
What will they do about the mud?
Steven Adelman, the vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, which recommends safety practices for live events, said he had dealt with unexpected mud at music festivals.
“You basically have to mobilize every backhoe, tow truck and other types of vehicles within hundreds of miles, and that’s probably what they’ll have to do,” Mr. Adelman said. “And they will have to come from hundreds of miles away because Black Rock City’s nearest metropolitan area is Reno.”
What is the weather forecast?
Festival organizers said they were expecting “significant” weather on Sunday, including rain and strong winds.
Orlando Mayorquin contributed reporting.
POST AUTHOR: Amanda Holpuch