This year's Burning Man festival was interrupted by torrential rains that turned the normally dry grounds into a giant mud pit, but that didn't stop attendees from enjoying their time in the Las Vegas desert.
Every year, tens of thousands of people gather at Black Rock City, a temporary community in the middle of Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where they build and celebrate art and self-expression.
Campers, trucks, cars, tents and other forms of temporary housing pop up in the middle of the desert as attendees exchange gifts and create art for nine days culminating in the annual burning of a human-shaped effigy.
Typically, the festival produces impressive art sculptures, interactive pieces, music and more.
But this year it looked very different as clay-like mud took over much of the ground.
But instead of letting the muddy conditions get the best of them, attendees – also known as “Burners” – got creative, using the thick mud from the heavy rainfall to represent creative sculptures.
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The whole point of the festival is to experiment with creativity and community, coming together to exchange gifts to create something greater – whatever the circumstances.
Unlike other festivals, there are no scheduled sets or headliners.
Burning Man participants follow 10 principles that promote self-confidence, community and creativity. The festival “encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on their inner resources.”
So in true Burning Man spirit, some didn't let a little dirt get in the way of their party. A video, posted on TikTok, showed people dancing to music in the middle of the desert with mud stuck to their shoes
One creative way people have avoided getting their shoes and clothes wet and muddy is by wrapping them in plastic bags.
Another TikToker showed how a camp set up a slip-and-slide for others to enjoy.
The northwestern Nevada desert was inundated Friday and Saturday by heavy rains from Tropical Storm Hilary. Festival organizers urged attendees to shelter in place on Saturday and conserve food and water, as they expected it might take longer than usual to leave.
The terrain where Black Rock City is the remains of an ancient lake. While it is usually dry and dusty, when water comes into contact it quickly turns it into slippery, thick mud.
Despite photos and videos depicting a somber scene – and even some celebrities leaving the grounds – most Burners still seem to be enjoying this year's festival.
Gerardo Mendoza, a bystander, told USA Today, “We had a great burn, just amazing. A little mud didn't bring us down.”
He added: “The whole point of the burn is self-reliance, so we put in extra just in case.”