As it happenedended1694182994

Burning Man attendees share ordeal with urine bottles as clean-up begins after exodus – updates

Organisers have three weeks to clear the sprawling Nevada desert campsite

Andrea Blanco,Ariana Baio,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 08 September 2023 15:23 BST

Burning Man festival-goer shows grim conditions after flooding chaos

The Burning Man exodus appears to have come to an end — paving the way for a massive clean-up job to begin.

Thousands of attendees cleared out from the Nevada desert campsite after being trapped for days when the festival descended into chaos with heavy rainfall, flooding and muddy conditions.

Organisers will now spend the next three weeks cleaning up the sprawling site to fulfil the festival’s key principle of “leave no trace”, after the area was left littered with abandoned vehicles, furniture and trash.

People who attended this year’s festival said they were instructed to urinate in bottles to conserve space in the porta-potties. In the aftermath of the rain trash was left everywhere, wrote Rob Price in Business Insider.

“The porta-potties were surrounded by a halo of shredded toilet paper that clung to shoes,” he added.

The end of the tumultuous exodus comes after officials revealed the suspected cause of death for the man who died during the event.

The man, identified as 32-year-old Leon Reece, was found unresponsive on the playa on Friday, with emergency responders unable to revive him.


In Photos: Burners leave this year’s festival

People wait in line for a bus to leave the Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA, 04 September 2023

Vehicles are seen departing the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada

Ariana Baio5 September 2023 21:00

ICYMI: Sheriff’s office names man who died at Burning Man

Authorities on Monday revealed the identity of the man who died at the Burning Man festival as thousands of attendees began their exodus from the northern Nevada desert following heavy rains.

The Pershing County sheriff’s office identified the man as 32-year-old Leon Reece.

Authorities received a call around 6.24pm (local time) on Friday about an unresponsive man on the ground at the ephemeral Black Rock City, sheriff Jerry Allen.

The man was being administered CPR by medical personnel at the festival as flooding on the playa due to heavy rains delayed the arrival of deputies.

By the time the deputies arrived, Reece was pronounced dead by the festival doctor, Sheriff Allen told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ariana Baio5 September 2023 23:00

Watch: Burning Man festival-goer shows grim conditions after flooding chaos

Burning Man festival-goer shows grim conditions after flooding chaos
Ariana Baio6 September 2023 01:00

Burning Man death caused by suspected drug intoxication

Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive on the remote and weather-hit Nevada festival grounds on Friday.

Burning Man death caused by suspected drug intoxication

Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive on the remote and weather-hit Nevada festival grounds on Friday

Graeme Massie6 September 2023 01:30

Nevada Department of Health reports ‘no unsual disease problems'

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported that there were no unusual diseases found at Burning Man after conspiracy theories ran rampant online.

“The Division of Public and Behavioral Health has worked with Burning Man to oversee emergency medical services and environmental health, including some staff on site during the weather challenges,” a spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Health said in a statement provided to The Independent.

“Despite these challenges, staff report no unusual disease problems and that emergency services crews are all working together with no immediate concerns.”

Ariana Baio6 September 2023 02:00

Exodus time nearly four hours

The exodus wait time is approximately four hours, according to a social media account linked to the Burning Man Project.

“Please be patient as you exit through Gate Road, and respect Burning Man staff who are working hard to make the Exodus experience as smooth and safe as possible,” it said.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar6 September 2023 03:44

Oliver Anthony among those ‘trapped’ at Burning Man amid flooding chaos

Oliver Anthony, the country artist behind the viral hit “Rich Men North of Richmond”, is apparently among those stranded at Burning Man festival in Nevada.

Anthony, 31, was scheduled to be interviewed by the socialist political journal Midwestern Marx on Sunday (3 September); however, in a live stream, its presenters said the singer was “trapped” at Burning Man.

“Our man Oliver Anthony has been trapped in the flooding at Burning Man, this is what he told us over email,” one of the show’s three hosts explained.

“Oliver’s representative told us that he’ll be out there for at least another day. So honestly, right now, we’re mostly just concerned with his safety and hopefully he can make it out of this situation safe and then we can reschedule the interview for a different time.”

Ariana Baio6 September 2023 04:00

The ‘temple’ set ablaze at Burning Man

The final event of lighting the ‘temple’ on fire took place on Tuesday night, marking the end of the Burning Man festival.

Revellers by tradition leave the names of departed loved ones and other remembrances to be burned in the temple. The wooden structure also acts as a space for the festival-goers to meditate.

For many, torching the temple has become the centerpiece of the burning — a more intimate, spiritual event than the rave-party-like immolation of the effigy.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar6 September 2023 04:53

Burning Man revellers ‘lash out’ at each

The chaos of Burning Man isn’t over yet, with annoyed revellers lashing out at each other during the exodus from the festival site.

After a long weekend of unfortunate events and extreme weather – where a huge amount of rainfall turned the dry desert floor into a mud pit – tensions boiled over among some festivalgoers on Monday.

Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said that attendees “lashed out” at each other as the gates to the site finally opened but they were still left facing eight-hour waits to get out of the Nevada desert site.

Amelia Neath reports.

Burning Man revellers ‘lash out’ at each other during exodus from washout festival

After an exhausting weekend, revellers grew impatient as they endured eight-hour waits to leave the desert site

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar6 September 2023 05:00

Ted Cruz jumps on Burning Man conspiracy theory jokes

After falling for the “Hurricane Shark” hoax during Tropical Storm Hilary, Ted Cruz wanted to let everyone know he was in on the joke this time.

The Texas senator, and prolific content creator, shared a doctored image on Tuesday purporting to show a shark on a flooded highway near the Burning Man festival on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Holy crap,” Mr Cruz wrote, along with a crossed fingers emoji, to indicate he was in on the ruse.

The shark meme, which began circulating in 2011, has become an infamous online prank well-known to most savvy social media users.

Ariana Baio6 September 2023 06:00

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in