Tens of thousands of festivalgoers found themselves marooned in the Nevada desert as heavy rainfall transformed the annual Burning Man gathering into a quagmire.
In the midst of this chaos, authorities are currently investigating one tragic death. The event, which drew an estimated 70,000 attendees, was left in disarray as the rain wreaked havoc, demolishing structures meant for dance parties, art installations, and other forms of entertainment.
Video footage captured by attendees showed costume-clad “burners” struggling through the wet, gray-brown terrain, with some improvising trash bags as makeshift boots. Meanwhile, numerous vehicles became trapped in the sludgy mess. As a result of the extreme conditions, all scheduled events at the counterculture festival had to be canceled.
Police officials have confirmed their ongoing investigation into a single fatality but have not released any further details at this time.
With road gates leading in and out of the Black Rock City venue closed off, some desperate festivalgoers embarked on arduous journeys on foot for hours, hoping to reach the nearest road and hitch a ride out of the quagmire. One such survivor, lawyer Neal Katyal, recounted his harrowing experience, describing it as a “slippery and treacherous six-mile (10-kilometer) hike at midnight through heavy, cement-like mud.” He advised that such conditions were perilous for solo hikers and that they were likely to worsen.
The festival attendees were urged to shelter in place, conserve their food and water supplies, and brace themselves for more rain in the forecast. Many reported that internet service was either unavailable or sporadic.
Chris Rock hitch-hiking
A video circulating on social media showed comedian Chris Rock hitching a ride in the back of a pickup truck with DJ Diplo after successfully escaping the muddy predicament.
Pershing County Sheriff’s Sergeant Nathan Carmichael acknowledged the difficulties posed by the sticky mud, explaining that it adhered to people and tires, making it extremely challenging to move vehicles. The majority of RV motorhomes were left stranded.
Festival organizers issued an advisory for attendees to “conserve food, water, and fuel and shelter in a warm, safe space” due to the “playa” (the vast open-air esplanade where the event takes place) becoming impassable. They also encouraged festivalgoers to help one another during this trying time.
One festival attendee, known only as Dr. T, expressed his intention to make the best out of the situation, saying, “I’m just going with the flow, meeting people, and making the best out of this difficult situation.” The California surgeon mentioned concerns about missing patient appointments but acknowledged there was little he could do at the moment. He emphasized that they had water and hope and were providing shelter to those in need.
Despite the challenging circumstances, organizers announced that the festival’s grand finale, the burning of “the Man,” was still scheduled for Sunday night, contingent upon the weather conditions. The event was initially set to conclude on Monday.
Organizers stressed that only four-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with all-terrain tires had any chance of moving. Anything less, they warned, would inevitably become stuck, potentially hampering the exodus from the event. They advised attendees that if necessary, they could walk to the nearest road, where buses would be available to transport them to Reno.
In response to the crisis, mobile cellphone trailers were deployed, and wireless internet access was made available to the public. Festival organizers assured the public that they had been fully prepared for such situations, having conducted tabletop drills for events like this.
A White House official confirmed that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation in the desert and urged event attendees to follow instructions from local authorities and event organizers.
Will the travel boom continue in 2024?
Several big events are scheduled in 2024 and travelers say they’re planning to attend.
Following the pandemic—pent-up demand to travel exploded.
But, after years of inflation and rising tourism costs—are travelers curtailing plans for 2024 or revving them up?
Casey Hatfield-Chiotti, a Travel Editor, Marin Living Magazine joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #IN AMERICA TODAY #travel #traveltrends #2024travel #tourism #luxurytravel #hospitalityindustry #MarinLiving #ParisOlympics #solareclipse #featured
YouTuber Trevor Jacob behind bars for plane crash stunt
YouTuber Trevor Jacob has been sentenced to jail after orchestrating a dangerous stunt involving a plane crash in a reckless bid for views.
The shocking incident unfolded as Jacob attempted to push the boundaries of extreme content creation on his YouTube channel.
In a bid to capture the attention of his audience, Jacob embarked on a perilous mission, piloting a small plane before deliberately crashing it. The stunt, which was filmed and uploaded to his channel, garnered immediate backlash from viewers, many of whom decried the reckless behavior as dangerous and irresponsible.
Authorities swiftly intervened, launching an investigation into Jacob’s actions. Following the investigation, he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to a prison term.
The incident has raised important questions about the ethics of content creation, the pursuit of internet fame, and the potential legal consequences for those who prioritize views over safety.
Russian women want their men back from Ukraine
In a heartfelt plea, Russian women have taken to the streets demanding the safe return of their loved ones from the Ukrainian front.
The conflict in Ukraine has stretched on for years, and the toll on families has been immense. Mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters are uniting to call for an end to the fighting and the return of their men.
The women, often referred to as the “mothers of the front,” are growing increasingly frustrated with the ongoing conflict. They argue that their husbands, sons, and brothers have been away for far too long, and the human cost of the war is simply too high.
With no clear resolution in sight, their calls for peace and reconciliation are becoming more urgent.
This grassroots movement has sparked a national conversation in Russia, with many questioning the government’s handling of the conflict.
While the official stance has been to support the separatist forces in Ukraine, these women are highlighting the personal tragedies and broken families left in the wake of the war. Their determination to bring their loved ones home is palpable.
The situation raises important questions about the impact of long-term conflicts on families, the role of women in peace movements, the government’s response to public sentiment, and the prospects for a peaceful resolution in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
Will the travel boom continue in 2024?
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