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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Burning Man attendees allowed to start their ‘exodus’ Monday afternoon

Burning Man festival organizers said attendees will be able to start leaving the grounds Monday afternoon, after a storm swept through the desert last week and left thousands stranded.

“Gate Road remains too wet & muddy for most vehicles to safely navigate out of [Black Rock City] this morning, but is drying,” the organizers said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Exodus likely to begin around noon today, Monday 9/4.”

The organizers said there is still “too much standing water” for a large number of vehicles to safely leave the grounds of the event. They said while they plan to open the roads at about noon local time, people should consider delaying the departure to “alleviate large amounts of congestion” on Monday.

This comes after the organizers warned attendees Sunday that the roads were too dangerous to complete the “exodus,” a term referring to the festival’s conclusion and exit process. Tens of thousands of people who gathered for the festival remained stranded in the Nevada desert Sunday after storms swept through the area, prompting warnings for attendees to shelter in place.

Organizers said that their “Man Burn” — the burning of a large wooden effigy — was supposed to have been burned Saturday night, but it was postponed to Sunday. In a post on X, organizers said rainy and muddy conditions and “an inability to move heavy equipment and fire safety onsite,” further postponed the event to Monday night.

Officials also said they are investigating a possible death from the festival, but that the death was not caused by weather-related issues.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said last week that the entrance to the event would be closed for the remainder of the event, which began on Aug. 27 and was scheduled to end Monday.

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