- Burning Man attendees abandoned their vehicles and left behind hordes of trash in the mud, a Nevada sheriff said.
- Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen told the San Francisco Chronicle the mud made everything worse.
- “This year is a little different in that there are numerous vehicles strewn all throughout the playa,” Allen said.
Burning Man attendees ditched their cars and left heaps of trash across a miles-long stretch in a Nevada desert as thousands of festival-goers began a mass exodus out of the muddy site, a local sheriff said.
Sheriff Jerry Allen of Pershing County — where the week-long annual music and art festival is held — told the San Francisco Chronicle in an email that every year there are “large amounts of property and trash strewn from the Festival into Reno and points beyond.”
But this year was worse than normal thanks to the muddy mess on the festival grounds after a torrential downpour over the weekend, Allen said.
“This year is a little different in that there are numerous vehicles strewn all throughout the playa for several miles,” Allen told the news outlet, referring to the Black Rock Desert.
The sheriff said, “Some participants were unwilling to wait or use the beaten path to attempt to leave the desert and have had to abandon their vehicles and personal property wherever their vehicle came to rest.”
Allen also said the conditions were causing tensions to rise on the playa.
“Angry” Burning Man-goers were “not showing compassion to their fellow man who have endured the same issues over the past few days,” Allen said.
A veteran Burning Man festival-goer who stayed behind to help with the cleanup told NBC News that some of the 70,000 attendees did abandon their camps “so it’s not surprising to hear that there was trash left behind.”
He noted that one of the 10 principles of the festival is to leave “no trace,” which some attendees clearly did not abide by.
“So for those people who left trash behind, those aren’t real Burners,” the man said. “They probably shouldn’t be out here anyway.”
Burning Man organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Wednesday.