The driving ban at Burning Man was lifted Monday — allowing the estimated 64,000 remaining attendees an opportunity to escape to the festival grounds that were transformed into a muddy mess from torrential downpours.
“Exodus operations” were officially underway in Black Rock Desert in Nevada thanks to drier grounds, festival organizers said in an update posted to its website around 2 p.m. local time.
An endless line of vehicles and RVs were slowly leaving the area Monday, according to images of the mass exit.
But even though the driving ban was no longer in effect, organizers urged those still in attendance to delay their departure until Tuesday to reduce some of the road congestion.
“Please know that while conditions are improving and roads are drying, the playa is still muddy and may be difficult to navigate in some neighborhoods and down certain streets,” organizers said.
Attendees were also asked not to walk out of Black Rock Desert as others — including comedian Chris Rock and DJ Diplo — did over the weekend.
The pair had apparently walked six miles Saturday through mud before hitching a ride in the back of a fan’s pickup truck, according to a video posted on Instagram by Diplo, whose real name is Thomas Wesley Pentz.
“I legit walked the side of the road for hours with my thumb out,” Diplo wrote.
The festival prohibited driving from the site after more than a half-inch of rain flooded the area Friday and led to foot-deep mud. Still, some left the festival by car before being given the OK by organizers Monday.
If weather permits, the burning of “the Man” – a large wooden effigy shaped like a man — is expected to be held Monday night with the burning of a wood temple structure set for Tuesday night that signals the end of the festival.
The burning was postponed as authorities worked to reopen the exit routes by the end of the Labor Day weekend.
The well-known alternative festival, first started in 1986 on a San Francisco beach, attracts nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists that includes wilderness camping and avant-garde performances.
“We are a little bit dirty and muddy, but spirits are high,” Southern California photographer Scott London. “The party still going.”
When flooding hit the area, revelers were urged to conserve food and water as most remained hunkered down.
“Everyone has just adapted, sharing RVs for sleeping, offering food and coffee,” Philadelphia photographer Rebecca Barger said. “I danced in foot-deep clay for hours to incredible DJs.”
Others were able to escape the tough conditions by walking several miles to the nearest town to grab a ride.
The festival was rocked by a death over the weekend, though organizers said it was not weather-related. More details about the death of the man in his 40s have not been disclosed.
With Post wires
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