Burning Man exodus underway as festival attendees leave muddy playa

ByJ.R. Stone KGO logo
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Burning Man exodus underway as attendees leave muddy playa
It was a bumper-to-bumper traffic in Black Rock City in Nevada on Tuesday as the exodus to Burning Man played out.

BLACK ROCK CITY, Nev. -- Bumper-to-bumper traffic along Highway 447 in Nevada on Tuesday as the exodus to Burning Man played out.

"It was definitely a difficult exodus," said Joel Wiliams.

An accident early Tuesday on Highway 447 left traffic at a standstill and added to what was, quite the week. One where gates were closed until Monday due to the extremely muddy conditions.

MORE: Burning Man attendees in good spirits despite cold, muddy festival

Vibes among burners we talked with are positive now, but they did deal with all sorts of mud challenges over the weekend after torrential rain.

"It's like having cement blocks on your feet. The playa mud is not like normal mud, it sticks to your feet and goops up, so some people were wearing just bare feet with zip lock bags taped to them," said Williams.

But it wasn't just the muddy feet.

"The toilets are bad, I'm not going over there. We get a bucket, we get a bag, we poop in the bag you know!" could be heard in a cell phone video recorded Saturday

TIMELINE: What is Burning Man? The festival's lengthy history has roots in San Francisco

Flooded toilets to go with the mud were problematic but the party continued and those like Christopher Vera will tell you, people came together.

"To be honest about five of my friends said this was, if not their best burn, a second to best burn," said Vera.

"So the mud maybe added some flavor to it?" we asked.

"You are correct," he responded.

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