A 13-time Burning Man veteran is among the diehard revelers choosing to party on rather than face an 'unsafe' five-hour traffic jam down a 'narrow hig
A 13-time Burning Man veteran is among the diehard revelers choosing to party on rather than face an ‘unsafe’ five-hour traffic jam down a ‘narrow highway’ out of the Nevada desert.
Sarah Jane Woodall, 46, known by her online fanbase as Wonderhussy, told DailyMail.com that torrential downpours which prompted many to leave – or abandon plans to go to the festival in the first place – had ‘weeded out the weak’.
The week-long experimental festival in north-western Nevada finished on Monday, sparking a mass exodus.
Huge crowds were still lining up to leave the Black Rock City site via a ‘narrow two-lane highway’ in 80 degree heat without any access to fresh drinking water on Tuesday, according to Woodall.
The White House said President Biden was briefed on the situation on Saturday, which came after a 32-year-old man died from causes ‘unrelated to the weather’ and up to 75,000 people were trapped in the swamp-like desert.
Sarah Jane Woodall (pictured), 46, known by her online fanbase as Wonderhussy, told DailyMail.com that torrential downpours which prompted many to leave – or abandon plans to go to the festival in the first place – had ‘weeded out the weak’
Huge crowds were still lining up to leave the Black Rock City site via a ‘narrow two-lane highway’ in 80 degree heat without any access to fresh drinking water on Tuesday, according to Woodall
A Burning Man participant makes their way through the mud in Black Rock City
But Woodall said the horrific conditions actually improved the experience for many by ‘distilling the attendance down to just the hard-core original survivors’.
‘This is my thirteenth time and for me it was exactly what was needed,’ she said.
‘It’s kind of a thing with veteran Burning Man attendees that you become sort of jaded, like “oh 13 times, it’s always the same thing, this is getting boring, why do I do this every year?”
Woodall, who goes by ‘Wonderhussy’ online, offered a glimpse inside the mud-caked desert
‘I was having those thoughts earlier in the week and then when it started raining it completely changed the event for me.
‘For me it made it one of the best I’ve had because it was so interesting and it also weeded out the weak.
‘Another complaint among burners is “oh these new people, they don’t understand burning man culture, they just come for the weekend, they think it’s Coachella, they’re half-assed partiers”.
‘Well all those people left as soon as they could.’
Outlining her plans to leave on Thursday, Woodall added: ‘Leaving today would mean sitting in traffic for five hours.
‘People are tired and stressed, and so driving conditions are probably going to be unsafe. It’s a narrow two-lane highway in and out of here.
‘I would rather not get into that mess so I made the decision to stay and wait until the bulk of the population has left.’
The week-long experimental festival in north-western Nevada finished on Monday, sparking a mass exodus. (Pictured: the ‘man’ effigy burning on Monday at the festival)
While the freezing storms ruined the festival, some revelers are determined to keep the Burning Man spirit alive. Pictured: Shai Peza of Chicago frolics in the mud
Multiple cars have gotten stuck in the mud as festivalgoers tried to flee over the weekend
She explained that thousands of diehard fans would stay for the burning of a makeshift temple on Tuesday night, so a second wave of departures is expected on Wednesday.
Pershing County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the roads out of Burning Man had reopened on Monday – but warned the route is riddled with ‘mud, soft spots and standing water’.
‘The Burning Man Project is requesting people stay on the beaten path, follow all traffic laws, and please be patient with your fellow drivers, pedestrians and Emergency Services,’ the office warned.
Officials named the man who died during the festival on Saturday as 32-year-old Leon Reece, adding that the weather hampered their response.
‘Due to the unusual rain event happening on the Playa, access to the area and investigative efforts were delayed,’ Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said.
A Burning Man attendee lies down in the mud and water at the event
‘Upon the arrival of Pershing County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, the doctor at the Festival had already pronounced the male subject, later identified as Leon Reece, a 32 year old male, deceased.’
He said an investigation is underway and a toxicology report being carried out.