The quagmire seems to be over. The tens of thousands of Burning Man festival-goers began to return home on Monday, September 4. They had been bogged down for several days in the Black Rock desert – giving its name to Black Rock City, the ephemeral city of festival-goers –in the US state of Nevada, turned into thick, sticky mud after heavy rains.
Access to Black Rock City, a few dozen kilometers from the first homes, had been closed to 70,000 festival-goers on Friday due to bad weather which transformed the “playa”, a huge open-air field, into an impable muddy expanse. The organizers, however, called on visitors to delay their departure from the site – built in the dry bed of a lake in a remote area of the Nevada desert – until Tuesday to avoid major traffic jams.
But burners, dressed in eccentric outfits that characterize them, left the site as soon as permission was given. Some walked during the night to reach the only pable road, 8 kilometers away, and hitchhike. Among them, celebrities, like comedian Chris Rock and artist Diplo hitchhiked by a fan. An approach that did not please other festival-goers, respecting the instructions issued by the authorities and remaining on site.
Elsewhere in Nevada, the rains led to flooding, including in the city of Las Vegas. According to state police, bad weather at the festival caused the death of one person, but authorities did not release details of the circumstances. The Burning Man had faced an intense heat wave last year with strong winds which had already made the experience difficult for festival-goers.
The World with AFP