Chris Rock escapes Burning Man festival after it was shuttered due to torrential rain – leaving behind 73,000 revelers to face freezing weather in Nevada desert
- Actor and comedian Chris Rock found himself amidst the muddy chaos that descended upon the Burning Man festival site
- On Saturday, Rock along with a group of fellow festivalgoers, attempted to make an escape with several more inches of rain in the forecast for the next 24 hours
- A video circulating on social media depicted a group of at least seven festivalgoers riding in the back of a pickup truck, with Rock among them
Actor and comedian Chris Rock was caught up in the muddy mayhem that descended on the site of the Burning Man festival and made a bid to escape along with a group of other revelers on Saturday.
Torrential rains saw access to and from the site completely cut off with officials concerned should vehicles continue to cross the muddy landscape it would make further travel impossible in the days to come.
Several inches more rain is forecast in the next 24 hours.
In one video posted to social media, a group of at least seven festival goers could be seen riding in the back of a pick up truck with 58-year-old Rock hitching a ride along with EDM DJ Diplo.
Many members of the group had ski goggles to protect their eyes from the desert dust.
Rock could be seen sitting on the edge of the truck as it trundled across the desert tracks.
He was seen wearing a New York, Knicks jacket, a black baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses as he smiled for the camera.
‘Just walked 5 miles in the mud out of burning man with Chris Rock and a fan picked us up,’ the Twitter user tweeted, together with a video of the escape online.
Earlier in the day, Rock had posted video of just how atrocious the conditions around the campsite were where he’d been staying.
In a 10 second clip posted to his Instagram, the muddy quagmire could be seen – consisting of craters of mud in which deep footprints had been left.
In a story that has since disappeared, Rock wrote: ‘From what I understand, because of the flooding, the port-o-potties reportedly can’t be emptied. And because the gates are closed, people can’t get in to fill generators or deliver supplies’, according to SFgate.com.
A row of bikes could also be seen parked up – all completely useless given the muddy conditions.
It is not clear who Rock had been attending the festival with.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of revelers attending the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert were told to shelter in place and conserve food and water on Saturday after a massive rainstorm turned the site into a mud pit.
The final weekend of the hedonistic event ground to a halt on Friday night as freezing, mud-caked conditions took over.
‘Do not travel to Black Rock City!.’ Burning Man organizers tweeted, referring to the desert area where the alternative festival takes place
‘Access to the city is closed for the remainder of the event, and you will be turned around’, organizers said in a statement on social media.
‘Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa,’ they explained.
About six inches of rain is believed to have fallen on Friday at the festival site, located about 110 miles north of Reno, the National Weather Service in Reno said.
Another three inches of rain is expected from late Saturday into Sunday and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa,’ the U.S. Bureau of Land Management explained.
Revelers have been suffering from hypothermia after unprecedented storms washed out the festival.
Organizers urged festivalgoers already on site to ‘conserve food, water and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space.’
They said rain was unlikely to stop until Sunday night. The festival was scheduled to conclude on Monday.
Due to downpours, the ‘playa,’ the huge open-air esplanade where the event unfolds, was rendered impassable.
Those not trapped in the grounds tried not to let the storms dampen their mood, however, with local bars packed with festivalgoers still hoping to make the most of a bad situation.
Upwards of 100,000 people are believed to have made their way to the Nevada wasteland this year, making it among the most attended in Burning Man’s history, and the event is always among the most hotly anticipated for festivalgoers every summer.
But after the heavens opened on Thursday, torrential storms are thought to have brought the most rainfall that the event has seen since its inception in 1986.
Many attendees have taken to social media to offer a glimpse inside the ruined event, with one sharing a gloomy video of the soaked art installations.
Thick, pasty mud surrounded Paul Reder’s RV on Saturday afternoon, as scattered patches of blue tried to break through the gray cloud cover above him.
‘Fortunately we’re in a fairly big camp with a lot of supplies,’ Reder said during a video call. ‘As a community, everybody’s sharing with each other.’
Reder, who has been attending the event for 22 years, said he expected it would take at least two days for the area to dry out.
While he was prepared to ride it out, Reder said some attendees are leaving the site on foot and trekking to the nearest highway about 12 miles away.
Photos published by the Reno Gazette Journal showed festivalgoers with garbage bags wrapped around their legs as they walked through mud. The newspaper reported that organizers had started rationing ice sales
The TikTok saw the festivalgoer pan a camera across a platform holding several soggy sculptures stationed on the mud-caked desert.
In another video, a reveler gave their advice about ‘what to do at Burning Man when its raining.’
While they opted not to join others in local bars, they recommended ‘singing karaoke’ and placing plastic zip-lock bags over your feet and walking ‘as little as possible’ to avoid the grubby grounds.
While riding dune buggies and bikes around the Burning Man camp has been a regular sight at the annual bash, organizers have also been forced to ban the practice due to the treacherous conditions.
‘Do not drive your vehicle. Do not ride your bike, do not push your bike around. Remain where you are. Secure structures and belongings in your camp,’ urged one message to Twitter.
Despite organizers ordering people not to drive over the mud, a group could be heard yelling in the video at a large black SUV to ‘stop’, after several vehicles have been stuck in the mud in recent days.
The rain made the ground extremely slippery, with sticky mud clinging to bike tires and shoe treads forcing attendees to shuffle around.
‘It’s just very slippery. And you can’t drive and it’s hard to maneuver through there and stuff like that. [The ground] just turns to like a paste, basically. So yeah, certainly not ideal,’ meteorologist Scott McGuire told SFGate.
Following the torrential rainfall, Sunday is again expected to be among the wettest days of the festival and while the rain will make the grounds unpleasant, flash flooding is not expected.
Last year, the festival contended with an intense heat wave and strong winds, which made the experience difficult for the ‘burners,’ as festivalgoers are known.
Tens of thousands travel to the remote area in northwest Nevada every year gathering in the temporary city to make art, dance, and enjoy community.
Burning Man aims to be an undefinable event, somewhere between a celebration of counterculture and a spiritual retreat.
The festival gets its name from its culminating event, the burning of a large wooden 40-foot effigy called the Man on the penultimate night.
The gathering, which originated as a small function in 1986 on a San Francisco beach has a budget of $45 million and is now also attended by celebrities and social media influencers, was scheduled to run from August 27 until September 4.