real life

Burning Man trapped 70,000 people. One of them was Casey Donovan.

Every year, thousands gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create a city for nine days, before completely dismantling it. 

Their goal? To celebrate art and creative expression with approximately 73,000 other attendees who come from all over the globe to dress up, immerse themselves in the art installations and dance to exclusive musical performances. 

Essentially, Burning Man is a party with swelteringly hot days and below-freezing nights. At the end of the nine-day festival, the event wraps with its official burning of 'The Man'.

Among the thousands of people looking to be part of the celebrations was Australian singer Casey Donovan. 

She was also one of the over 70,000 attendees who were cut off from the main roads because of the heavy rain flooding the desert grounds this weekend. 


Those waiting to be rescued were told to seek shelter and conserve their food, water and fuel. 

Donovan came on to Instagram to tell followers she was in a rather dire situation, but "safe". 

"Have been rained into the Playa here at Burning Man," she wrote last weekend. 

"Good thing is, we are safe, we have food and 'dryish' shelter, it is very moist here and [the] forecast is for more rain over the next few days.

"Fingers and toes crossed for some sunshine to clear things up… But for now, ChoooookAsssssses and I’ll get in touch when I find some more Wi-Fi."


In a story posted to Instagram, she gave her followers another update. 

"G'day everyone. I’ve found some emergency Wi-Fi out here on the playa (ground) at Burning Man," she said. "It's officially been rained in, being that it is the desert, when rain happens – not that it happens often – it is a literal mud pile."

"So I’m thinking I might be a little stuck here until it all dries up... But forecast is more rain. So chookas to me, chookas to you … I’m a celebrity, get me out of here," she joked.  

"Hopefully, I’ll be arriving in Sydney on my flight on Friday... slim chance."

The singer's manager Karen-Lee Goody told Mamamia on Monday evening that they had consulted with two helicopter companies based in Reno to see if they could get Donovan out. 

However, Goody was told they were only delivering necessary supplies into the area. 

On Tuesday morning, Mamamia was told Donovan was being transported out of Burning Man via a truck to Reno. Casey confirmed the news to her Instagram followers, writing "Not dead yet, made it out." 

Listen to this episode from The Quicky on Burning Man. Post continues after audio. 

The festival site was reportedly hit with over three months' worth of rain within just 24 hours. What was previously a dry desert landscape just hours before, quickly turned into a muddy pit.

The heavy rains cut off normal access to the site, forcing some attendees (including DJ Diplo and comedian Chris Rock) to hike kilometres out of the site to find a main road.


Following the flooding, one man reportedly died who was in his 40s. However, according to The Guardian, the attendee's death was not weather-related. 

Event organisers had to release several statements in the aftermath of the tragedy unfolding. 

They also strongly denied the rumours that an Ebola outbreak had occurred on the campgrounds. "The online rumours of transmissible illnesses in Black Rock City are unfounded and untrue," the organisers wrote.

Feature Image: Instagram @caseydonovan88.

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