Around 70,000 attendees of Nevada festival Burning Man have been told to “shelter in place” in Black Rock City after a slow-moving rainstorm turned the desert to mud. Reno Gazette Journal describes “thick, slimy mud” that “clung to shoes and anything else it touched,” and made walking “treacherous;” driving is not allowed, except for emergency vehicles. Organizers are telling attendees to “conserve food and water, shelter in a warm space,” and multiple planned art burns have been cancelled.
Festival gates and the local airport were closed on Friday night, and remain closed. The Bureau of Land Management released a statement on Saturday, which reads, “Officials from BLM and the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office have closed ingress to the Burning Man event effective immediately and for the remainder of the event. Participants inbound for the event should turn around and head home.”
“Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa,” the statement continues. “More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa.”
In addition to not allowing attendees to enter to leave, the closed entrance means on site port-a-potties have not been emptied or cleaned, Reno Gazette Journal reports.
Police told Forbes that they were “working on getting everybody out” of Black Rock City, but did not give a timetable or further details.
See photos and videos from attendees below.
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
Making the best of shelter in place & taking care of fellow Burners. Burners w/o Borders supports community’s inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to relief efforts & grassroots initiatives to make a positive impact.
#burningman #BurningMan2023 pic.twitter.com/kNiFtvWpJ0
— High Society Mama (@highsocietymama) September 2, 2023