A celeb snapper is one of those who have escaped the swamped Burning Man festival after a torrential rainstorm left more than 70,000 festivalgoers stranded.
Photographer Jana Schuessler, who recently rose to fame by capturing Canadian pop singer Avril Lavigne for Grazia and American ‘The Vampire Diaries’ actor Gavin Casalegno for L’Officiel on camera, shared her festival experience in an interview with German media.
Schuessler who was born and raised in Germany but moved to New York, USA, five years ago revealed how she fled the event at Black Rock Desert, Nevada State, USA, after heavy rains covered the area with ankle-deep mud as of Friday, 1st September.
The Brooklyn-based photographer told how she and her friends made the first fleeing attempt in one of their campers at around 11pm on Saturday, 2nd September.
Jana said: “However, that went wrong and a friend got stuck in the mud with his vehicle on the first try.”
But despite radio announcements claiming the festivals’ gates were locked, the gang made it out the next morning.
The influencer who boasts more than 20,100 followers on Instagram said: “We were told we were not allowed to leave the premises… We tried anyway – and even succeeded.
“With some luck we somehow got out of mud hell but saw loads of RVs on our way stuck in the mud.”
Adding that some of her friends are still trapped at the playa, Jana said: “Unfortunately, they are still stuck and will probably have to wait days for rescue because it has started raining again.”
She then recalled how it all began and said: “It suddenly started raining around noon and we got worried pretty quickly. The storm was pretty severe and just wouldn’t stop.
“The week before the festival even started, it rained heavily in the area and it took two days for the site to dry out again.”
She continued: “My feet and shoes were full of mud, which felt like cement within a very short time. We couldn’t go anywhere!
“Everyone who had the chance tied bags around their shoes at some point, which helped them walk to some extent.”
Jana reportedly helped other attendees with food and water as people were desperately conserving their supplies and surviving on tuna cans.
She also added that the portable toilets were not being cleaned as service crews could not reach them, thus turning the place into massive ‘foul’ dump.
The photographer said: “Most RVs have a small limit until the toilet is full. You don’t want to imagine that. No wonder some have chosen to walk eight miles to a shuttle…”
The annual week-long large-scale desert campout focused on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance was set to last from 27th August until 4th September.
It reportedly closes each year with the torching of a 40-foot effigy.
On Saturday (2nd September), festival organisers revealed that one person had died at the location, but added that the death was “unrelated to the weather”.
Media said that the roads out of the festival may reopen on Monday, 4th September.