The Burning Man Festival started in 1986 as a small event on a beach. It was originally an event for hippies, bohemians, and those who lived outside of mainstream culture. It’s an art event.
As with most things like this, it became cool, and so people with money started going. Now, less than 40 years later, it’s dominated by the Silicon Valley elite, celebrities, and grifters.
While one person has died this year due to extreme weather events, which is a tragedy, I can’t help but feel some schadenfreude at rich people being stuck in a situation they can’t buy their way out of.
Tens of thousands of “burners” at the Burning Man festival have been told to stay in the camps, conserve food and water and are being blocked from leaving Nevada’s Black Rock desert after a slow-moving rainstorm turned the event into a mud bath.
As of noon Saturday, Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management declared the entrance to Burning Man shut down for good. “Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa. More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa,” read a BLM statement.
The festival this year was already taking place under unusual circumstances with the desert floor flooded by the remnants of Hurricane Hilary as the event was being set up.
Tara Saylor, an attendee from Ojai, California, faced the threat of the hurricane as well as a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that shook her city before she left, reported the Los Angeles Times. Saylor told the newspaper she’s seen the founders of two different companies at Burning Man this year, but added, “it doesn’t matter how much money you have, nobody can do anything about it. There’s no planes, there’s no buses.”
“Money does not solve disasters like this.”