Thousands of fans were turned away from the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in Nevada on Monday (25Aug14) after heavy rain forced the closure of the main entrance to the event.

The annual festival kicked off in the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, but an unusual storm hit the area Monday morning, causing flooding and mud around the main entrance.

A statement from a Burning Man representative reads, "Black Rock City has shut down following rainstorms that left standing water on the playa (dry lake), leaving it un-drivable. Organisers expect the rain to dissipate and the playa surface to dry out by midday Tuesday and participants will be allowed to enter the event again."

Hundreds of revellers who were already inside the gates were told to remain in place at their camps. In 2013, a record 68,000 festival-goers flocked to the Nevada desert for the annual event. The 2014 festival runs until 1 September (14).