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Tens of thousands of Burning Man festival-goers are stuck in the desert due to rain

Tens of thousands of Burning Man festival-goers are stuck in the desert due to rain

Participants in the American alternative Burning Man festival could no longer go to or leave the site located in the Nevada desert, on Saturday, due to heavy rains that turned the place into a field of mud and forced organizers to close the doors.

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“Black Rock City (site name, editor’s note) gates and airport remain closed, and all entry and exit are postponed until further notice,” the X (formerly Twitter) account has repeated at regular intervals since midnight on Burning Man.

The organizers also called on the participants there to “conserve water, food and fuel and find warm and safe shelter.”

Due to heavy rain, “La Playa”, the enormous arena that marks the event has become impassable.

If the rain stops during the day, it should return on Sunday, the last day of the festival, while overnight temperatures from Saturday to Sunday should drop to about 10 degrees, again, according to organizers.

The majority of scheduled activities have been suspended, including the lighting of the wooden giant installed in the center of La Playa, which marks the end of the festival and gives it its name.

The festival faced an intense heat wave last year, accompanied by strong winds, which made the experience already difficult for “burners,” as festival-goers are known.

Launched in 1986 in San Francisco, Burning Man aims to be an indefinable event, somewhere between counterculture celebration and spiritual retreat.

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Initially held on a beach in San Francisco, Burning Man has become an organized festival, with a budget of nearly $45 million (2018 figures) and more than 75,000 participants during the last edition, down compared to the previous edition in 2019.

It has been organized since the 1990s in the Black Rock Desert, a protected area in northwestern Nevada, which organizers are committed to preserving.