Irish Resident Braves Mud and Rain at Burning Man Festival


A resident of Co Laois attending the well-known Burning Man festival, held in the expansive northern Nevada desert, expressed that the persistent good cheer of attendees remains undampened despite an unexpected deluge of rain structurally transforming the festival grounds into impassable landscapes of deep-ridden mud.

Brendon Deacy, a 58-year-old academic lecturer at National College of Art and Design, ventured adventurously to this iconic counter-cultural event with his adult children. Their journey transmuted into an adventure as severe rainfall rendered routes leading in and out of the festival momentarily inaccessible, compelling attendees to economize on water and other resources, remaining cocooned in their shelters for unwelcome longer than planned.

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Hosted each year in the eerie Black Rock Desert, roughly 170 kilometers beyond the hustle of Reno, the festival magnetizes an eclectic mix of near 80,000 individuals, from avant-garde musicians and artists to tech-savvy workers and impassioned activists.

The astonishingly sticky composite of dust and rain has veritably solidified into unyielding mud, trapping footwear, leaving Deacy and his family resorting to bare feet and socks as the sole mode of traversal. Despite inhospitable conditions, the Irishman proclaimed that, prior to the unexpected rainfall, the gathering was unfolding splendidly, the discomforting heat and sporadic dust storms recognized as part and parcel of the desert’s charm.

With the impending threat of significant rainfall, festival-goers started to strategize contingency plans. Even Deacy, seasoned from previous festivals like Electric Picnic, was taken aback by the relentlessness of this rainfall.

Despite the challenging conditions, a sense of camaraderie permeated throughout the camp, with the prevailing spirit remaining surprisingly buoyant. Although Deacy arrived at the festival well-prepared for the customary harsh desert conditions, he admitted to not foreseeing the need for rain gear.

Although he would have fretted if alone in these testing conditions, the resourcefulness of fellow campers ensured that he and his family were well taken care of. His adult son successfully maneuvered his way out of the flooded grounds, securing a shuttle bus ride to Reno, while the remaining family members elected to wait for the rain-soaked roads to dry before making their exit via their campervan.

Despite the unprecedented turn of events, Deacy appreciated the adventure, stating that it had demonstrated there was still “life in the old dog yet”.

Monday’s weather forecasts raised hopes of potential evacuation as better conditions allowed the submerged desert to progressively dry out. Festival organizers, in their latest notification, declared that the sole road from the Black Rock City site began to dry, with the exit process likely to commence from Monday noon onwards.