'Trapped' Burning Man revellers walk to safety from flooded desert as mass exodus from site begins

4 September 2023, 10:13 | Updated: 4 September 2023, 10:14

Flash flooding has hit Burning Man festival in Nevada, USA
Flash flooding has hit Burning Man festival in Nevada, USA. Picture: social media/Getty

By Asher McShane

Burning man festival-goers have been sharing their ‘harrowing’ escapes from the desert festival after thousands of people were stranded there by severe flooding.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

People complained of bring ‘trapped’ following heavy rain and flooding in Nevada that turned the festival site into a mud bath.

One person died at the festival on Saturday during the rainstorm - but organisers stressed the death was not a result of the weather.

The local sheriff is investigating the death.

On Sunday, Burning Man’s CEO said: “there is no cause for panic” and described it as not an ”evacuation situation.”

Festival-goers walk through the mud at Burning Man festival
Festival-goers walk through the mud at Burning Man festival. Picture: Getty

Former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal said he experienced an ‘incredibly harrowing 6 mile hike at midnight through heavy and slippery mud’ to escape the festival.

Investment banker John LeFevre posted: “Zero sympathy for people 'trapped' at Burning Man.

“A bunch of nerds cosplaying as post-apocalyptic feudal elites… Don't like the mud? Walk the 6 miles back…

“And boo hoo to the 'influencers' who can't meet sponsored content requirements and have to send the money back.”

Conditions at the site have now eased enough that revellers can start to leave. Vehicles are able to drive on the mud without getting stuck and camper vans have begun to leave the event.

Revellers were told to conserve food, fuel and water as the rain hit. Bad weather put toilet facilities out of action because service vehicles could not drive on the mud to empty them.

Some festival attendees were expecting to be trapped on the site until Tuesday.

Others chose to hike five miles through the mud to the closest road - with buses arranged to take people into the city of Reno, Nevada.

Organisers closed vehicle access to the festival on Saturday, with attendees told to conserve their food and water as poor weather continued.

It is understood more than an inch of rain fell at the festival site on Friday, which is located about 110 miles north of Reno.

The Reno Gazette Journal reported that organisers started rationing ice sales and that all vehicle traffic at the sprawling festival grounds had been stopped, leaving portable toilets unable to be serviced.

An inch of rain fell at the festival on Friday
An inch of rain fell at the festival on Friday. Picture: social media

Read More: Exact day UK will be hit by 30C heatwave next week before wet and windy end to washout summer

Read More: Two XL bully dogs shot dead after killing 22 pregnant sheep and injuring dozens of others

The announcements came just before the culminating moment for the annual event - when a large wooden effigy was to be burned Saturday night.

Many people played beer pong, danced and splashed in standing water, the Gazette Journal said.

Mike Jed, a festival-goer, and fellow campers made a bucket toilet so people did not have to trudge as often through the mud to reach the portable toilets.

"If it really turns into a disaster, well, no-one is going to have sympathy for us," Mr Jed said. "I mean, it's Burning Man."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Exclusive
Rishi Sunak is following Sir Keir Starmer in taking questions from LBC listeners this morning

Starmer refuses to rule out council tax hike and reveals hopes for new Brexit deal - now it's your turn to quiz Sunak

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Rishi Sunak follows Keir Starmer in taking listeners' calls as part of Global's biggest ever Election coverage

Justin Timberlake's mugshot has been released

Justin Timberlake mugshot released after singer arrested for 'driving while intoxicated' in wealthy Hamptons enclave

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.

Former Tory donor John Caudwell backs Labour in General Election

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'looking forward to returning to work' as he thanks NHS staff for help after falling off West End stage

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

Desperate mum of British teen missing in Tenerife 'beside herself with worry' as she flies out to help with search

Mysterious smoking headless torso missing arms and legs dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Horror as smoking headless torso missing arms, legs and head dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Hamish Harding ignored warnings over the Titan sub.

Brit billionaire 'ignored stark warning over Titan sub' after record-breaking dive gave him 'false sense of security'

The King and Queen have wished the racegoers the "best of luck" in chasing the "thrill of a Royal Ascot winner".

King and Queen wish Royal Ascot attendees 'best of luck' chasing race winner

Chris Marriott, 46, was helping a woman when they were driven over by a Seat Ibiza car in Sheffield

Father killed by car used 'as a weapon' as he tried to help stranger, jury told

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

Mr Sunak was joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron for the first time on the campaign

Flock of sheep flee as Rishi Sunak and David Cameron try to feed them

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

British businessman shoots his TV star wife dead in murder-suicide after 'row over her text messages' at Turkey home

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, was brutally attacked during attempted robbery

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, is attacked walking home from school

A decision not to charge police officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation has been upheld by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stephen Lawrence murder detectives will not face prosecution, CPS announces