USA – Burning Man Festival: one death and thousands stuck in the mud

Festival burning man 2023

The Burning Man festival, a famous annual gathering of arts and culture, was faced with an unexpected situation this year. Located in Nevada's dry and dusty Black Rock Desert, the location was submerged in torrential rains, turning the ground into a deep, slippery mud. This unpredictable weather caught thousands of participants off guard, leaving them stranded on the site.

Faced with this situation, the organizers quickly advised festival-goers to find shelter and ration their supplies. With roads becoming impassable, many vehicles found themselves trapped in the mud. Testimonies even report that some tents were half submerged in water.

Despite these difficult conditions, the community spirit of Burning Man did not waver. Milia Nirshberg, a 12-year-old participant, shared her experience: she and her father opened the doors of their camper van to strangers, offering shelter and access to a working toilet, a valuable commodity as festival sanitary facilities were out of order.

Pershing County also announced sad news: an investigation was opened following the death of a person who occurred during these bad weather. The details surrounding this death remain unclear at this time.

Usually, the festival is a flurry of activity, combining music and gigantic art installations. This year, however, many events had to be canceled. Despite the circumstances, some kept their spirits up, choosing to dance happily in the mud to the sound of techno music.


The history of Burning Man dates back to 1986. Each year, a temporary city is built in the heart of the desert, where mutual aid and self-sufficiency are essential. As the organizers recalled, participants come “with everything they need to survive”.

In conclusion, this festival, despite its international reputation, is not immune to the vagaries of nature. The consequences of this rainy episode on future editions of Burning Man are still uncertain. But one thing is certain: the resilient and united spirit of its community will never be extinguished.