FACT CHECK: Viral X Video Does Not Show Vehicle That Tried To Escape Burning Man Festival

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A viral video shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show a trapped vehicle that tried to escape the recent Burning Man music festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.

Verdict: False

The video was originally published on Instagram in August 2023, predating the Burning Man music festival.

Fact Check:

Over 70,000 attendees were trapped at this year’s Burning Man music festival due to heavy rain and flooding, according to Axios. A shelter-in-place order due to the weather was lifted Monday, prompting a mass exodus characterized by hours-long delays, the outlet reported.

“This car was sent to [the] Stone Age, excessive flooding ruined the Burning Man festival, with many got trapped in thick mud in Nevada. At least one person has been reported dead,” the X video’s caption purports. The video has received over 80,000 views as of writing.

The claim is false, however. A reverse image search reveals the video was originally published to Instagram in August 2023, meaning it predates the Burning Man music festival. The video was uploaded to the platform by a social media user named @trokas_chihuahua on Aug. 15.

Check Your Fact reviewed the social media user’s Instagram profile, and they appear to be based in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico. The user also frequently posts videos of various types of vehicles to their profile.

The Instagram video the user shared of the trapped vehicle received over 22,000 likes. There is no indication the video has any ties to the recent Burning Man music festival.

Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find the viral X video referenced in any recent credible news reports about the Burning Man music festival. The video also neither appears on the music festival’s website nor its social media accounts. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show A River Trash At Burning Man)

In addition, Check Your Fact looked into the claim that at least one person died at this year’s festival. According to NBC News, Leon Reece, a 32-year-old from California, was found unresponsive on the festival grounds, authorities said. Authorities were delayed in responding due to heavy rains that impacted the festival but wound up pronouncing Reece dead at the scene, the outlet reported. While Reece’s cause of death is not yet confirmed, drugs are believed to have played a role.

Check Your Fact has contacted the Burning Man music festival and the social media user who shared the original video clip to Instagram for comment. This piece will be updated accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter