By Dow Jones Business News,
August 26, 2014, 02:12:00 AM EDT
By Jim Carlton
Rainstorms have prompted the temporary closure of the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, putting a
damper on the annual convergence of more than 50,000 hippies and hipsters--many from Silicon Valley.
Officials of Black Rock City LLC, which hosts the normally dust-choked revelry, asked state and local law
enforcement Monday to turn away so-called Burners after storms drenched its location on a playa 110 miles northeast of
Reno. A statement posted on Facebook attributed the shutdown to undrivable conditions on what would have been opening
day of the event, which was set to end Sept. 1.
"Drivers are being instructed to find a safe location to park until the expected reopening of the event on
Tuesday," Burning Man said in the statement.
Jim Graham, a Burning Man spokesman, said late Monday the festival would reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, after the
condition of the makeshift city's roads were assessed.
Some Burners vented their frustrations on social media. "Each day I'm stuck in Reno the selfie gets progressively
more angry," wrote 28-year-old Aaron Hoffmeyer, a technology analyst from San Francisco, in posting a mockingly stern
expression of himself on Twitter.
Other techies poked a little fun. "Extinguished Man," Alexia Tsotsis, co-editor of the technology news site Tech
Crunch, termed the festival on Twitter.
Burners include some of the elite of the tech world, with entire camps populated by employees and executives from
companies such as Facebook Inc., whose chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has been an attendee. They build elaborate art
sculptures and drive unusual vehicles in a bash that ends after the ceremonial burning of a giant wooden effigy--the
The festival originated in 1986 with just 20 people attending on a San Francisco beach. As it grew, it moved in
1991 to the Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nev., and has been held there ever since. The festival, often plagued by
massive dust storms, has grown so big in recent years that it draws a large presence of law enforcement, and mileslong
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