Burning Man, the annual festival taking place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, has opened on August 27th, with thousands of festivalgoers gathering to create the Black Rock City, a ‘temporary metropolis’ complete with numerous installations, artworks, and pavilions that celebrate “community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.” This year, however, the festival experience has been different, as heavy rains inundated the desert and festival site, creating thick, ankle-deep mud. The roads to and from the festival have been closed as large vehicles risk remaining stuck in the mud. While some people have left the site by walking out, the majority of the 70,000 campers remain stranded, as reported by CNN.
The northwest Nevada area was hit with heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours, transforming the desert sand into a clay-like mud. The burning of the Man, a closing-of-the-festival ritual, was also postponed from Sunday to Monday night, and people are advised to shelter in place until the ground has dried enough to drive safely. Despite the difficult conditions, the art installations have continued their tradition of creativity and experimentation, delving into this year’s theme of “Animalia,” an exploration of all lifeforms, real or imagined, that animate the festival grounds.
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