The Burning Man Festival is held in the desert of Black Rock City, Nevada. This year’s festival opened with a viral video of climate change activists blocking traffic with law enforcement responding.
Now, the controversy has spun into a chaotic scene the festival organizers are declaring a National Emergency. Can a festival declare a National Emergency? That’s beside the point right now.
🚨#BREAKING: Burning Man Festival Declares National Emergency as over 73,000 Campers are trapped Urged to Shelter in Place Amid Flooding Crisis
Currently, more than 73,000 festival attendees and campers are trapped with no access in or out of the… pic.twitter.com/gMxoFiFKdm
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) September 2, 2023
Heavy rains overnight on Friday have transformed the infamously dusty desert site into a muddy mess, trapping over 70,000 attendees. The festival-goers are being instructed to shelter in place and to conserve food and water resources since getting supplies in is not possible as no entry nor exit has been permitted since Friday night. No travelers will be permitted to enter for the remainder of the event, per organizers on Saturday. The pop-up airport known as Black Rock City Municipal Airport has been closed, and only emergency vehicles are allowed to drive.
“Participants inbound for the event should turn around and head home,” the Bureau of Land Management said in a statement on Saturday.
The event began on August 27 and runs through Monday. With more rain expected over the weekend, the attendees are likely to remain unable to leave by the scheduled end of the event. Some celebrities, however, including comedian Chris Rock and musical artist Diplo, have managed to be rescued after reportedly walking through miles of muddy terrain.
just walked 5 miles in the mud out of burning man with chris rock and a fan picked us up pic.twitter.com/0uxSXLHgY6
— diplo (@diplo) September 2, 2023
If having a large group of travelers stranded in the desert wasn’t enough of a problem to contend with, there are rumors being spread online that there is a viral outbreak of an Ebola-like virus at the festival site. RedState cannot confirm the legitimacy of the rumors at this time, except to report that the internet rumors continue to add concerns to the situation at Black Rock City. Additionally, the internet is not available in the desert except via satellite, resulting in hindered communications for those in attendance.
The rumors on the ground here are that there’s some sort of virus on the loose at Burning Man that causes boils/vomiting/hemorrhaging. Apparently that’s why they’re not letting people in. No idea if this is true. Been in RV all day.
Source: Am at Burning Man/Black Rock City. https://t.co/abbI3vK8Ha
— TrueAnon (@TrueAnonPod) September 2, 2023
Starting to hear reports of something weird happening at burningman from friends in tech. Most corroborating @TrueAnonPod. People getting sick. People in uniforms with no markings starting to block off parts of BRC. Why is there a media blackout over this? #burningman
— 🐊 (@unfortunatedub) September 2, 2023
This is a developing story that will continue to be monitored.