Burning Co-Founder Larry Harvey Dead at 70

by Joy Montgomery April 30, 2018, 11:13
Burning Co-Founder Larry Harvey Dead at 70

At that time it was a summer solstice ritual that involved burning an effigy of a man.

Larry Harvey, the man behind the anti-establishment, anti-consumerist cultural phenomenon that is Burning Man, has passed away at the age of 70.

Harvey died Saturday morning at a hospital in San Francisco, surrounded by family, Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell said. He suffered a stroke on April 4.

"Now that he's gone, let's take the liberty of contradicting him, and keep his memory alive in our hearts, our thoughts, and our actions", Mangrum wrote.

"We resolutely held out for a miracle", wrote Burning Man Project CEO Goodell in the "Burning Man Journal".

The gathering has grown to about 70,000 people in Nevada's Black Rock Desert and a "Vitruvian Man" figure previous year stood at 70 feet tall. In 2017, the festival was attended by over 70 thousand people. Attendees are encouraged to build a community and pursue whatever interests them, while respecting one another.

It features giant interactive art installations and a huge wooden man that is burnt at the end of the event. Harvey was also an activist, artist and philanthropist.

Harvey created Burning Man on a San Francisco beach in 1986, and later moved the event to the Black Rock Desert northeast of Gerlach.

His death was announced on the Burning Man website. "And he said, 'Can you say that again?' And I did and we did it".

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After that simple gathering, Harvey conceptualized the larger countercultural festival he would name Burning Man.

The adopted son of OR potato farmers, Harvey in 2011 at the age of 63 acknowledged a hard upbringing, noting that he was no longer afraid of his dad.

Larry Harvey, 70, died in San Francisco on Saturday. He settled in the Haight-Ashbury district for many years.

Harvey's last appeared in public on March 29th at the opening of a Burning Man art exhibition at the Smithsonian in the nation's capital.

Since 2000, a wooden temple has formed the sacred center of Burning Man. He was president of its board and "chief philosophic officer". One ticket to Burning Man can range anywhere from $425 to $1,200.

In 2017, a man ran into Burning Man's flames, suffered burns over nearly all of his body and died. That same year, three other people were injured when a drunk driver ran over their tent. That same year a man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a van carrying people to the festival. That's when a skeletal five-story-tall wood and neon man-shaped statue, stuffed with fireworks, is set ablaze.

Some critics often likened Harvey to guru leading a cult, though he resisted that depiction.

He is survived by his son Tristan Harvey; brother Stewart Harvey; and nephew Bryan Harvey.

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