BLACK ROCK CITY, Nevada — More than 73,000 Burning Man attendees remain confined to their camps Saturday and are blocked from leaving the event after a slow-moving rainstorm turned their desert playground into a soupy, muddy morass.
Organizers of the annual counterculture festival said they are working to assess the damage and make the area safe for people to move around. They have also warned attendees to stay in their camps and avoid driving or walking in the mud.
The rainstorm began on Friday night and continued into Saturday morning. It dumped several inches of rain in some areas, causing flooding and mudslides. Several roads leading to Burning Man were also closed due to the weather.
The festival is known for its anything-goes ethos and its celebration of radical self-expression. But the mud has made it difficult for people to get around and has also caused problems for some of the art installations.
Organizers said they are working to clean up the mud and make the area safe for people to return to. They have also said that they will be waiving the early departure fee for people who want to leave the festival early.
The rainstorm is a rare occurrence at Burning Man, which is typically held in dry, desert conditions. However, climate change is making extreme weather events more common, and experts say that Burning Man could be at risk of more frequent rainstorms in the future.
The mud has also raised concerns about the environmental impact of Burning Man. The festival generates a significant amount of trash, and the mud could make it difficult to clean up. Organizers said they are working to minimize the environmental impact of the rainstorm.
The rainstorm is a setback for Burning Man, but organizers said they are confident that the festival will be able to recover. They said that they are committed to making Burning Man a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.