What Happened at Burning Man

Thousands of attendees of the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert were stranded over the weekend after heavy rain on Friday night led officials to close the road that leads in and out of the makeshift town.

Organizers said on Monday that they expected people could start leaving by midday as the ground dried up.

Attendees were at one point told to conserve food and water, and the festival’s main event, the burning of a towering manlike sculpture, was postponed for a second time until Monday night.

Here is what is known so far about this year’s Burning Man.

The festival is held each year in Black Rock City, a temporary community created in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada.

Each year, it hosts more than 70,000 people who travel from around the world to the desolate, arid landscape. Those people typically have to contend with fine dust, not mud and rain.

It is far from major cities — the nearest is Reno, Nev., which is more than 100 miles away.

To get to Burning Man, people must either travel the two-lane rural highway that leads to the festival’s gate or fly into its small, temporary airport.

The rain prompted the closure of the route in and out of Burning Man, but the event’s organizers were expected to announce on Monday morning whether it was safe to reopen. Alternative routes may also be available.

The muddy conditions also obstructed the ability of event organizers to move heavy equipment, including for fire safety to the site of the Man Burn, which was twice postponed, according to a social media account affiliated with The Burning Man Project. It is now scheduled for Monday night.

Some people walked from the festival to the main roads and hitchhiked.

In a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Diplo, the D.J. and producer, said he and Chris Rock had “walked 5 miles in the mud” to get out.

Some vehicles with four-wheel drive have been able to get through the mud and leave, Burning Man organizers said.

Organizers cautioned that other vehicles were getting stuck in the mud, making it more difficult for everyone to leave.

Burning Man organizers said on Monday that the main route in and out of the area was still too muddy to pass through, but they expected people could start leaving at some point in the day.

However, they urged people to consider postponing their departures until Tuesday to avoid a traffic jam. Some were not waiting and began to take their chances in jeeps and trucks ahead of any official announcement.

Steven Adelman, the vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, which recommends safety practices for live events, said he had dealt with unexpected mud at music festivals.

“You basically have to mobilize every backhoe, tow truck and other types of vehicles within hundreds of miles, and that’s probably what they’ll have to do,” Mr. Adelman said. “And they will have to come from hundreds of miles away because Black Rock City’s nearest metropolitan area is Reno.”

Weather conditions were expected to improve on Monday, with clearing skies and warmer temperatures.

However, forecasters with the National Weather Service warned that a low pressure system may bring a chance of light rain showers by nightfall into Tuesday morning.

The festival site had been slammed with rain since Friday. Other parts of Nevada were also walloped with fast-moving thunderstorms and flash flooding over the weekend. Heavy flooding was also reported on the Las Vegas Strip.

Orlando Mayorquin and Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.