'We will all get out of this': Thousands stranded at Burning Man Festival after heavy rain

Thousands of people who made the trek to this year’s Burning Man Festival are now stranded in the Nevada desert. 

Heavy rain flooded the area around two hours north of Reno, turning the festival grounds into thick mud, and prompting organizers to shut down the event and temporarily halt traffic in and out of the festival. 

"It is soaking wet here at Burning Man," posted one Bay Area resident to social media from Black Rock City. 

The pop-up community of Black Rock City hosts more than 70,000 people each year during the nine-day festival.

"Burning Man, water man. So much water. We are flooded. Literally stuck here a couple of days," posted another festival goer.

"If you are in [Black Rock City], conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space. More updates to come," Burning Man organizers posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday.

But Lisa Mueller says her son Dylan and many other festival goers didn't immediately receive that message due to poor cell phone service in the area. Mueller says she has only been able to talk to him sparingly using Starlink, a satellite internet provider. 


Burning Man festival soaked by monsoon downpours, leaves tens of thousands stranded in muddy mess

Event organizers told the more than 73,000 attendees to batten down their camp and stay prepared for adverse weather conditions.

"Nobody’s going around warning people, so unless they’re tuned into that radio station that’s giving them updates, they really don’t realize the severity of the situation," Mueller told KTVU over the phone.

Mueller says many festival-goers with tents have now turned to sleeping in their cars while they wait for conditions to improve, so they can go home.

"I don’t know how long it takes for that mud to dry out, but there is nobody going around, there is nobody bringing them supplies, there’s nobody bringing people water," she said. "They literally are telling people to go pee on the ground and save the porta potties for bowel movements."

So far, Burning Man organizers have yet to provide an estimated time for when they expect the roads to open back up.

As a next step, they say they're deploying mobile cell trailers on festival grounds and organizing bus service for those who can walk to the nearby town of Gerlach. 

It's still unclear when roadways in and out of the festival are expected to open back up, but some festival-goers are remaining optimistic. 

"We are engaged full-time on all aspects of safety and looking ahead to our exodus as our next priority," festival organizers told KTVU. "We will all get out of this, it will just take time."