Burning Man Ended in an 8-Hour Traffic Jam

Despite 15 lanes of travelers exiting the grounds, Burning Man traffic dragged on for hours.

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quentincoyote on YouTube posted a view of the sunrise during Exodus.
quentincoyote on YouTube posted a view of the sunrise during Exodus.
Screenshot: quentincoyote / YouTube

For the first time in three years, the Burning Man festival made its post-COVID return last weekend, but the celebration ended in misery as people found themselves stuck in 15-lane traffic for hours. The festival’s official Twitter account warned of eight-hour jams, though some folks mentioned the wait could be up to 14 hours.

Burning Man is a multi-day revelry celebrating self-expression and anti-consumerism out in the Black Rock Desert, and plenty of folks absolutely swear by it. I’ve seen it described as Woodstock for people who want to cosplay Mad Max, and I don’t think I can disagree. I have never exactly understood the appeal, and the horrifying egress has not done much to change my mind.


I mean, just look at this disaster movie ass shit:


You’re telling me you willingly endured that? This isn’t a scene from an apocalypse film?

People were horrified at their wait times. From New York Post:

Some Burners reportedly had to wait as long as 12 hours to leave the pyrotechnic event with one beleaguered attendee claiming: “When we left at 8:38 p.m. last night, the estimate was 6 hours, but half of our group took 10 hours and the other half of our group took 12 hours to get to the gate.”

“Definitely would love some improvement on the exit system + estimates + communication,” they added.

“Took me twelve last night leaving at temple burn,” seconded another.

The traffic wasn’t the only downside to the weekend. There was also a massive dust storm on Saturday that whited out the festival grounds, and it was regularly hitting 105 degrees during the day. But the burning man converts endured, and I hope they found the kind of deep soul-searching satisfaction that can be the only counter to all the misery. I just hope Danica Patrick got out OK.