Still, for many of the more than 70,000 Burners, flood, mud and imprisonment did not interrupt the party. They dance to the ever-present bass-house music that echoes across the desert; doing yoga; and going to each other’s camps to drink, socialize, and discuss the popular topic of how to make Burning Man better.
On Saturday afternoon at the Playa Piano Bar, musician Eric Lewis, known as ELEW, 51, belted out a three-hour marathon of jazz and rock under an open-sided tent. Outside there was water in puddles. Inside, two dozen burners in G-strings and Jedi robes surround him. But their feet were bare or in plastic bags instead of platform shoes and boots.
One attendee, Angie Peacock, 44, said in a phone interview that despite some concerns among people, the spirit of the festival was still on display Saturday night, even though the weather temporarily halted some parties. Earlier, one of the campers said they had enough food and provisions for at least 10 days.
“We don’t let anyone starve, you know?” Ms. Peacock said. “It’s not ‘The Hunger Games.'”
On Saturday night, neon lights were still visible throughout the makeshift city, and the raves continued as usual.
“It’s light,” said Ms. Peacock, looking out. “That’s beautiful.”
Justin Shuman, who traveled from Harlem to join the event, said in a voice message Sunday that he expected discomfort at the site, but that the flooding really “puts you in a loop.” He described the site as “horrible mud” on Saturday morning.