Burning Man blues: Nevada art festival gets rained out on opening day

Heavy rain has left “burners” out to dry on Monday, the opening day of the week-long arts and libations festival known as Burning Man. Storms have been moving across northern Nevada since late Sunday night, drenching the festival location and turning it into a muddy mess.

Every year, around 60,000 people make the pilgrimage to Black Rock City in Nevada during the last week of August. Tickets for the week-long event have skyrocketed in recent years as the festival’s popularity has surged. Some party-goers paid upwards of $1,000 for a ticket according to SFGate, which makes this rainy start even more frustrating.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Burning Man tradition, SFGate summarizes this way:

The festival, which started in 1986 as a small gathering of friends burning a wooden man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, ballooned over the years into a cult-like phenomenon, attracting wild crowds who practice “radical self-expression.”

While the rain has decreased for the most part, scattered showers are still moving across northern Nevada. Clear skies are in the forecast for Tuesday, though showers could linger into Tuesday morning, which casts doubts on the possibility that Black Rock City will dry out in time for a Tuesday start.

Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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Angela Fritz · August 25, 2014