From our correspondent in the US,
After the flood, evacuation. About 72,000 people Getting stuck in the mud at the Burning Man festival, in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, was able to begin returning home Monday evening after dry roads reopened. The rain turned this inevitable encounter of American counterculture, particularly popular among Silicon Valley billionaires, into a post-apocalyptic ordeal. Mad Max. The death of one participant did not stop netizens from hysterically mocking the circumstances, which authorities did not clarify.
What happened ?
Usually, festival-goers are at the mercy of high temperatures or sandstorms. But after Tropical Storm Hillary hit the California peninsula in late August, northern Nevada received up to 20mm of rain. Black Rock is big enough to replace the desert, and the “Playa” – the enormous esplanade. burning man – 15,000 years ago, still in the basin of a lake, established in a large burial mound.
Impassable roads were closed to traffic, leaving festival-goers stranded at the site. Fearing more rain on Saturday, organizers called on participants to “conserve water, food and fuel and find warm and safe shelter”.
Some wanted to walk through the mud to reach the only road to escape this hell. DJ Diplo has released a video of actor Chris Rock sitting in the back of a pickup truck after being rescued by “a fan.” “It was an incredibly difficult 10-kilometer walk, done in the middle of the night in heavy, slippery mud, but I managed to get out safely,” said former Obama administration attorney Neil Katyal X (ex-Twitter).
What do we know about the deceased?
A festival-goer died Saturday, and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation. Officials did not provide details, saying only Monday that the death did not appear to be weather-related. A participant mentioned One person died of electrocution from a mud-mounted generator, but this has not been confirmed by police.
Why did internet users go wild?
Burning Man began in San Francisco in 1986 as a bonfire to mark the summer solstice. In the early 1990s, the gathering was held late each August in the Black Rock Desert, two hours north of Reno and Lake Tahoe, celebrating music and the visual arts, with giant sculptures and extravagant costumes. Each version culminates in a pyre, where a twenty-meter-tall wooden mannequin, the “Man,” is cremated. Halfway between a life of exchange and barter and an ayahuasca/zambi/LSD-style spiritual retreat in a kind of hippie utopia. Then come the Silicon Valley billionaires.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are becoming regulars, as are Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Start-ups spend tens of thousands of dollars to fly in by helicopter or hire private chefs in luxury RVs. Air-conditioned yurts appear, and so do influencers.
Fortunately, this year’s “mud-apocalypse” was celebrated by internet users, five years after the joy of failure. You are the party. On the networks, images of Shakira’s clip in the mud circulate in a cycle similar to the 2022 Balenciaga fashion show.
The influential Saint Hoax Instagram account Lists the best memes, “Wait, Mom is watching rich people drown and get Ebola at Burning Man,” “Burning Man where the rich go to live like poor people?” » But the best part in the “It’s True Because It’s Funny” section: “Being stuck in Burning Man is almost as scary as being stuck in a conversation with Burning Man. »