New Zealander stranded at Burning Man festival says it's been 'intense couple of days'

Newshub has spoken to a Kiwi who is stranded along with 70,000 others after torrential rain hammered the Burning Man festival in the United States.

The Nevada desert has been turned into a mud bath. But it's hardly dampening spirits.

Usually a jewel in the US festival crown, Burning Man is where thousands come to party in the Nevada desert before burning giant wooden effigies to the ground.

This time Burning Man is more like Drowning Man as torrential rain turns the desert sand into sticky mud.

Kiwi Robett Hollis is one of thousands washed out by the rain. 

"It's been an intense couple of days, a lot of emotions from everyone," he told Newshub.

"We've got one more rain shower that's supposed to come in about an hour-and-a-half so yeah, not ideal. But this is what happens when you put 70,000 people at Burning Man."

The site's been hit with three months of rain in just 24 hours. A desert deluge that's left 70,000 festivalgoers trapped and provided hours of social media material.

"There's tonnes of cops, there's rich f**kers, there's trash everywhere, the infrastructure is failing, our camp is without power and water. Currently, the porta-potties can't be serviced because of the mud, so they're currently overflowing," TikTok user @acesculptrix said in a video.

Bags wrapped around their feet to avoid infection, pushing their wares through an endless quagmire - people at the nine-day festival have been told to stay where they are and to conserve water and food.

"As part of this update, we're not allowed out - the gates are locked. We're OK, we have enough tuna for a week," TikTok user @burningmanfashion said.

There has been one fatality - but it's unclear whether the weather is to blame.

"Unfortunately, there has been a couple of casualties, a bunch of emergencies, and the waters got nowhere to go," Hollis told Newshub.

"Unfortunately it's been serious for a whole bunch of people so that has not been good."

They could be there for days - but some festivalgoers braved the more than 10km hike through sludge to escape. Among them was US DJ superstar Diplo.

He and comedian Chris Rock just made it out - hitchhiking in a truck bed in a desperate bid to leave the festival behind them. But for many it's taken Burning Man back to its roots.

"Is there no water, or sanitation or power? Yes," Hollis told Newshub.

"But if you're radically self-reliant and you've got a good attitude, I think you'll be OK. And us Kiwis, a lot of people stressing out, but I think us Kiwis are pretty OK."

A pretty OK Kiwi - with a long muddy night ahead.