One person has been reported dead at Burning Man, as attendees remain stranded at the festival in rain and mud, Reuters reports. In a statement, the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said that the death happened during a “rain event” on Saturday, but did not provide details about the person’s identity, or the cause of death. “The family has been notified and the death is under investigation,” the sheriff’s office told Reuters. “As the death is still under investigation, there is no further information at this time.”
An estimated 70,000 attendees of the Nevada festival continue to “shelter in place,” told to conserve food and water while access to Black Rock City remains cut off. Organizers say “the gate will reopen as soon as it is safe to,” and a statement from Saturday evening reads:
Burning Man is a community of people who are prepared to support one another. We have come here knowing this is a place where we bring everything we need to survive. It is because of this that we are all well-prepared for a weather event like this.
We have confidence in Communal Effort and Civic Responsibility and this is a good moment to drop in with those principles in mind.
Burning Man Project has been facilitating Black Rock City and Burning Man for over 30 years. We have done table-top drills for events like this. We are engaged full-time on all aspects of safety and looking ahead to our Exodus as our next priority.
We will be dropping mobile cell trailers in strategic positions Saturday night September 2, and opening up the internet for 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock plazas and Center Camp sometime Saturday evening. We will send out info when this is completed.
We are also deploying buses to Gerlach to take people to Reno who might walk off the playa. See our recommendations on when walking is viable or not. This is not likely a 24-hour operation at this time. See below for details.
Today we met with all of our agency collaborators on the local, county, state, tribal, and federal levels. We are in constant communication with those agencies.
We will update you frequently via our staff networks, our community networks, BMIR, Burning Man Traffic X (formerly Twitter), Burning Man Project X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.
Please read below for details on what is happening around you and what your options are.
Get some rest and spend some quality time with your campmates. We will all get out of this, it will just take time.
More rain is in the forecast for Sunday, which could further delay departure efforts. Organizers are warning people not try to drive out yet, saying in a statement on Saturday, “It will hamper Exodus if we have cars stuck on roads in our camping areas, or on the Gate Road out of the city.”
Organizers are allowing people to leave on foot, but warning them that it’s a five-mile hike through the mud to do so. Among those who reportedly made it out that way is Diplo, who wrote, “just walked 5 miles in the mud out of burning man with chris rock and a fan picked us up.”