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This Video is From the 2022 Balenciaga Fashion Show, Not the Burning Man Festival

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
6th September 2023
This Video is From the 2022 Balenciaga Fashion Show, Not the Burning Man Festival
The video Shows a 2022 Balenciaga runway, not the Burning Man Festival (Twitter)

The Claim

A video shows the Burning Man Festival.

Emerging story

After the recent Burning Man festival, social media users circulated a video claiming to show a fashion show featuring a woman walking over the thick mud of the festival in Nevada.

An X user published the video along with the claim, “Check this cat walk over thick mud at the Burning Man festival in Nevada in the midst of natural disasters like flood and purported Ebola.”


Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating video and found the claim to be misleading.

After conducting a thorough reverse image search, Misbar’s team found the video making the rounds to be outdated and unrelated to the Burning Man festival.

The Video Shows Balenciaga Show During Paris Fashion Week in 2022

The video in question is not from the 2023 Burning Man festival. The original video was captured during the Balenciaga Summer 2023 "The Mud Show" during Paris Fashion Week in October 2022, where models walked down a mud-covered runway to present Balenciaga's latest collection.

VESA channel published the original video, which displayed the same scene as the one circulating, on October 3, 2022.

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A screenshot of the original video (YouTube)

Another YouTube channel that covered the shows uploaded a long version of the shows on October 2, 2022. The video’s title reads, “Balenciaga Summer '2023"The Mud Show" || Paris Fashion Week.”

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A screenshot of the original video (YouTube)

Balenciaga's Spring/Summer 2023 Show During Paris Fashion Week

During the Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week, models faced a challenge as they walked down a runway covered in mud. This event occurred in Villepinte, a suburb of Paris, as reported by Vogue France. Prominent figures such as Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Naomi Campbell, and Alexa Demie made their way to this French town to witness the fashion house's unconventional presentation.

The runway's setting was described as a metaphor for seeking the truth and being down to earth, with the message conveyed that "Let us let everyone be anyone and make love not war."

The Burning Man Festival

The Burning Man Festival, an annual tradition since 1986, began with the burning of an improvised wooden figure on Baker Beach during the Summer Solstice. This event is often described as a global gathering of artists, creators, and community organizers who collaborate on art and initiatives worldwide. 

The festival's centerpiece is the burning of a large wooden structure called "the Man," aiming to provide an indescribable experience blending elements of counterculture celebration and spiritual retreat. Attendees, known as "burners," arrive in groups and establish themed camps, participating in a gift economy where they provide goods and services without expecting anything in return.

The 2023 Burning Man Festival

The 2023 Burning Man festival, originally scheduled from August 27 to September 4, faced unexpected challenges. Situated in Black Rock City, a temporary community within Nevada's Black Rock Desert, the event experienced an unusual downpour of over 13mm (0.5 inches) of rain on Friday, disrupting the festivities. 

Road closures occurred just before the planned burning of the festival's massive wooden effigy on Saturday night, leading organizers to postpone all burning activities. Authorities worked to establish exit routes by the end of the Labor Day weekend. Tragically, a death was reported at the festival, involving an individual in their 40s. 

With the festival closed to motorized traffic, attendees had to traverse muddy conditions, with many resorting to going barefoot or using plastic bags to protect their feet. Festival-goers were advised to conserve their food and water supplies, leading most to remain at the site. Nonetheless, a few managed to make their way to the nearest town or secure transportation there.

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Misbar’s Classification


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