“TOTAL DISASTER!” Shelter In Place Warning Issued as Burning Man Locked Down

Nobody in, nobody out. Not by car, not by plane. No portapotties serviced. No generators topped up. No vehicles on the Playa. Remain in your tents as the surface they’re attached to turns to mud.

Are we having fun yet?

If you’re reading this on your way to Burning Man, you should turn around and head home. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, quoting the Bureau of Land Management, the event is now closed for the rest of their allocated time:

“Officials from BLM and the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office have closed ingress to the Burning Man event effective immediately and for the remainder of the event. Participants inbound for the event should turn around and head home.

“Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa. More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa.” [Source: RGJ]

Those $25,000/night luxury hotel camps are looking real good now, aren’t they…except that they can’t get toilets pumped or generators and provisions refilled either. Their campers can’t joyride in the art car. What to do?

Reddit asks “Is this the end of Burning Man on the Playa?”

This is the type of stuff that truly separates the Burners from the Sparkle Ponies. You need to feel it in your soul! Suffer in misery and don’t even get to see the Man burned. Come back to civilization with nothing but tales of woe. That’s what it’s all about: Radical Sherpa Reliance. You’re not a true Burner until you’ve done it really hard. Or at least, tipped your concierge extra to get one of the sherpas to.

Is this karma, or simply dark irony, that after the cops rammed climate change protestors, the climate exacted revenge on Burning Man?

Shortly before the flooding began, there was an occult ritual in the Black Rock desert, a box burning to reveal a Phoenix, in celebration of BlackRock’s war in Ukraine.

Image: Andrii Ivanchenko, CNN

Reports from Tik Tok say that the government has declared Burning Man a “national disaster”, however there doesn’t seem to be any serious confirmation for this rumor…yet. Once 73,000 Burners head all manage to escape at once with garbage bags full of poop ready to be thrown out of the car at the nearest town, look out.


Burning Man has reportedly been declared a national disaster due to the rain and National Guard is on the way according to former RHOC friend of Dr Deb who is there!

♬ original sound – Kiki Monique

Featured image: SFGate

Mud Man 2023

Burning Man is closed. Don’t Go.

No really.

“Do not drive to Gerlach, you will be turned around…the [front] gate will remain closed at least until noon PT on Tuesday”.

The storm is upon us, and it’s a killer named Hillary.

Her first victim? Center Camp, looks like a drowning in shallow water…

Images: SFGate, Patrick Reeves via Facebook

In 2014 when we reported on Burning Man’s gate being closed due to inclement weather it made international headline news, rocketing our post and this humble blog to #1 on WordPress. This year, after consecutive years of pandemic closure (where Burning Man happened anyway, just without the Org) followed by a lacklustre influencer-led return to the Playa that saw massive swathes of the city depart before The Man burned…does anyone still care?

Maybe the people spending $10,000 per night on their lavish suites with flushing toilets and showers care. Will this lead to chaos on the way in as thousands of people per hour get backed up? Probably not at this stage, as it’s only people going to set up the camps, stages and art installations. But it sure could lead to problems down the road.

Presumably this mud and lake are not great for the private airline and private jets to the private airport.

Hillary brought half a year’s worth of rain in 6 hours to Palm Springs…fortunately, not during Coachella.

Is this climate change? The result of too few people driving Teslas? Or are the Millenials and Generation Z just too coddled and pussified for Radical Self Reliance to still be a thing?

What’s a bit of mud between friends, anyway?

mud orgy

Mud Orgy at Burning Man, 1993

Featured image credit: water on the Playa creating a lake in 2017, David Calvert/Daily Mail

RGJ: “Closed Through Tonight At Least”

Forget Burning Man today, people. It’s closed, and not expected to re-open until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Time to make the most of Reno instead. Reno hotels are offering room discounts to Burners, see here.


Re-blogged from the Reno Gazette-Journal:


Photo Liz/RGJ

Photo Liz Margerum/RGJ

11:05 a.m. update: Rain has closed the gates to Burning Man and they will continue to be closed through the evening, event organizers have said in a tweet.

While at least hundreds entered the gates of the annual counterculture event on Sunday and before rains poured through today, it’s estimated that thousands are on the outside looking in because of the dangers wet playa poses to vehicles, even bicycles.

“Playa out there is mucky, muddy stuff. With rain attached to it, people get stuck everywhere,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez said. Burning Man’s traffic twitter account says the gates will be closed through tonight and possibly tomorrow morning.

TIPS FROM LIZ: Survive wet, cold at Burning Man

Those already inside the gates are asked to stay there.

According to the burning blog, rain is rare on the playa, but has happened. One incident last year halted work crews preparing for the event.

The blog, written following the 2013 rain storm, gives a list of things not to do when it rains on the playa:

  • Remain where you are.
  • DO NOT DRIVE your vehicle. You will become stuck and tear up the playa surface.
  • Do not ride your bike, carry it; playa mud clogs wheels and gears in just a few feet.
  • Relax and wait until conditions change.
  • Bring an extensive first aid kit.

Link to info on rain on playa: http://blog.burningman.com/2013/08/building-brc/and-then-the-rain-came/

10:55 a.m. update: Reno Gazette-Journal videographer Liz Margerum is stuck in traffic about three miles away from the Burning Man gate. She said an official for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management told her that everyone in line must return to Reno.

“Both sides of the road are like a parking lot,” Margerum said.

Matt Woodhill from San Francisco said, “It’s a great opportunity to be with adversity. And I think it will bring us all closer together once we get in and get over our angst. We have no idea where to go. It would be good info. We have good friends and hope to meet up with them safe.”

10:53 a.m. update: Burning Man has announced that Burning Man has been closed through tonight and possibly into Tuesday morning. Traffic is being turned back at Wadsworth.

Black Rock radio report they expect to lose power and will stop broadcasting.

Earlier story:

It’s raining on the Black Rock Desert and Burning Man has asked people to stop driving out to the playa.

“Rain continuing. Please do not come to Burning Man until you hear otherwise from official channels,” Burning Man announced in one Tweet.

“Gate Road unlikely to open anytime in the next 4 hours. Stay in Reno please,” the counter-culture festival said in another Tweet just before 8 a.m.

There have been some minor thunderstorms in the area with an increased chance of storms later in the day, National Weather Service meteorologist Shane Snyder said.

“There are no intense thunderstorms yet, but they seem to be increasing,” Snyder said. “Things are starting to pop up as the day goes along.”

The thunderstorms looming today are what Snyder called “garden-variety type thunderstorms.”

The good news is that after today, Burning Man looks dry for the rest of the week.

“The rain is done, but we could have some winds kick up towards Saturday,” Snyder said.