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Was this the saddest Burning Man ever? The washout festival prepares to set fire to ‘the man’ TONIGHT as the mass exodus begins and 64,000 revelers head out after being ‘trapped’ in the mud for two days due to the flooding

Burning Man will conclude on Monday night with the burning of “the man” – ending what may be the saddest event in its history and leaving the waterlogged Nevada desert littered with abandoned boots and acres of trash.

Organizers said Monday that 64,000 revelers were still at the site and asked patience for those trying to leave the filthy camp.

Half an inch of rain fell on Friday, turning the site into a swamp. Visitors were ordered not to leave the site as the exit roads were impassable.

Some said the weather created a sense of community, but others admitted there was a slight panic at the thought of being stuck with scarce food and water. Social media users laughed at the “harrowing” stories about the escape from the compound.

The road reopened at 2 p.m. Monday and the “exodus” began. Those leaving the festival on the Monday before the fire had to wait five hours to reach the open road.

“Take it slow and pay attention to the traffic rules,” the organizers said. “Please be patient as you exit Gate Road and respect the Burning Man staff who work hard to make the Exodus experience as smooth and safe as possible.”

People in parrot suits sit and stare at

People in parrot suits sit and stare at “the man” – the effigy in the distance – on Monday

Pictured are people wading through the mud in Nevada on Monday

Pictured are people wading through the mud in Nevada on Monday

An RV got stuck in the mud as drivers attempted to exit the Nevada site

An RV got stuck in the mud as drivers attempted to exit the Nevada site

Chicago's Shai Peza dances in the mud after Saturday's rain

Chicago’s Shai Peza dances in the mud after Saturday’s rain

Molly from Salt Lake City poses for a photo at Burning Man

Molly from Salt Lake City poses for a photo at Burning Man

Traffic queues stretched to the horizon on Monday as thousands of people tried to leave the area

Traffic queues stretched to the horizon on Monday as thousands of people tried to leave the area

People have been urged to postpone their departure until Tuesday if possible.

They were also asked not to attempt walking. Some visitors – including comedian Chris Rock, actor Austin Butler and DJ Diplo – had already left the festival on foot.

Weather permitting, “the man” is scheduled to be lit on Monday at 9 p.m., while the temple is set to burst into flames at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service in Reno said Monday was expected to remain mostly clear and dry at the festival site, although light rain showers could occur Tuesday morning.

The event started on August 27th and was due to end on Monday morning when attendees packed up and tidied up.

“We’re a bit dirty and muddy, but the vibes are good.” “The party’s still going,” said Scott London, a photographer based in Southern California, adding that the travel restrictions “offered a view of Burning Man that many didn’t get to see from us”.

The participants hike through a muddy desert plain on Monday

The participants hike through a muddy desert plain on Monday

A man makes his way through the mud in the desert on Monday

A man makes his way through the mud in the desert on Monday

Muddy boots are left on the side of the road on Monday

Muddy boots are left on the side of the road on Monday

Burning Man organizers said Monday it was safe to leave the event, but said no one would be allowed to drive out of the event at speeds over 10 miles per hour

Burning Man organizers said Monday it was safe to leave the event, but said no one would be allowed to drive out of the event at speeds over 10 miles per hour

Hundreds of Burning Man visitors who planned to leave on buses are awaiting information on when they can leave

Hundreds of Burning Man visitors who planned to leave on buses are awaiting information on when they can leave

A man surveys the muddy scene in Black Rock, Nevada on Monday

A man surveys the muddy scene in Black Rock, Nevada on Monday

Los Angeles' 'Dirty D' throws himself in the mud at Burning Man

Los Angeles’ ‘Dirty D’ throws himself in the mud at Burning Man

One person was even seen with a boat that was parked on the premises

One person was even seen with a boat that was parked on the premises

Held on a San Francisco beach in 1986, the annual gathering draws nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists for a mix of wilderness camping and avant-garde performances.

Disruptions are part of the event’s more recent history: dust storms forced organizers to temporarily close festival entrances in 2018, and the event has twice been canceled entirely during the pandemic.

At least one death was reported, but organizers said the death of a man in his 40s was not weather related.

The sheriff of nearby Pershing County said it was investigating but had not identified the man or the cause of death.

President Joe Biden told reporters in Delaware Sunday that he was aware of the situation at Burning Man, including the death, and that the White House was in touch with local authorities.

The event is remote on the best of days and emphasizes self-sufficiency.

Amid the flooding, revelers were told to save their food and water, and most remained huddled at the site.

However, some participants managed to walk several kilometers to the nearest town or to take a ride there.

Diplo, whose real name is Thomas Wesley Pentz, posted a video to Instagram Saturday night showing him and Rock in the back of a fan’s pickup truck. He said they walked six miles through the mud before getting a ride.

“I actually walked the curb for hours with my thumbs out,” Diplo wrote.

Diplo wore ski goggles to protect his eyes from the desert dust as he left the site

Diplo wore ski goggles to protect his eyes from the desert dust as he left the site

58-year-old actor and comedian Chris Rock found himself in the midst of the muddy chaos that reigned at the Burning Man festival site and managed to emerge from the chaos on Saturday

58-year-old actor and comedian Chris Rock found himself in the midst of the muddy chaos that reigned at the Burning Man festival site and managed to emerge from the chaos on Saturday

On Monday, traffic queues weave through the desert as festival-goers try to leave

On Monday, traffic queues weave through the desert as festival-goers try to leave

Garbage is left on the side of the road along the exit route from Burning Man on Monday

Garbage is left on the side of the road along the exit route from Burning Man on Monday

It seemed like people just threw their garbage bags out of their vehicles on Monday

It seemed like people just threw their garbage bags out of their vehicles on Monday

The spirit of Burning Man is self-sufficiency, but many people seem to have ignored that and left their junk behind

The spirit of Burning Man is self-sufficiency, but many people seem to have ignored that and left their junk behind

A double rainbow can be seen over the site during heavy rains on Friday

A double rainbow can be seen over the site during heavy rains on Friday

Cindy Bishop and three of her friends managed to leave the festival in their rented campervan at dawn Monday morning when Bishop said the main road was unguarded.

She said they were glad they made it after two days of driving to the exit and getting stuck multiple times.

But Bishop, who traveled from Boston for her second Burning Man, said spirits at the festival were still high after they left.

Most people she spoke to said they planned to stay because of the ceremonial burnings.

“The spirit there was really, ‘We’re going to take care of each other and make the best of it,'” she said.

Rebecca Barger, a photographer from Philadelphia, attended her first Burning Man on August 26 and was determined to see through to the end.

“Everyone has just adjusted, sharing RVs for sleeping and offering food and coffee,” Barger said. “I’ve danced for hours in foot-deep clay to incredible DJs.”

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