Scenes from the Burning Man Flood

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Scenes from the Burning Man FloodJULIE JAMMOT - Getty Images

Burning Man 2023 will go down in history—but not for the right reasons. Due to an unexpected flood, the annual arts festival was rained out this past weekend, leaving over 70,000 attendees trapped at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

If you're unfamiliar with the event, Burning Man is a celebration that attracts partiers from across the globe. Over the course of nine days, attendees form a pop-up city in the desert, share resources, and experience all the grounds have to offer. Burning Man ends with the symbolic burning of a man-shaped totem pole. Given its isolated location, attendees camp in tents and RVs—which proved to be rather dangerous this year.

According to The New York Times, the rain caused the desert floor to transform into thick mud that no one could drive through. As a safety precaution, the event organizers closed the roads leading in and out of the campsite. By Monday, September 4th, the ground began to dry, and attendees were finally able to leave. Before heading out, many people at Burning Man chronicled their experience online. Diplo, the music producer, and DJ, attended the festival with comedian Chris Rock and shared their escape on Instagram. “I legit walked the side of the road for hours with my thumb out, cuz I have a show in DC tonight and I didn’t want to let y'all down,” he wrote. “Also shout out to this guy for making the smart purchase of a truck, not knowing it was for this exact moment.”

Keep scrolling to see the flooded festival grounds—and the attendees who braved the storm.

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