Harvey died at a hospital in San Francisco, surrounded by family, Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell said.
JOHN ROGERS | JANIE HAR
California, US | April 29
L arry Harvey, whose whimsical decision to erect a giant wooden figure and then burn it to the ground led to the popular, long-running counterculture celebration known as “Burning Man,” has died. He was 70.
Harvey died Saturday morning at a hospital in San Francisco, surrounded by family, Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell said. The cause was not immediately known but he suffered a stroke earlier this month.
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Longtime friend Stuart Mangrum posted on the organization’s website that Harvey did not believe in “any sort of existence” after death.
“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. “As he would have wished it, let us always Burn the Man.”
Burning Man takes place annually the week before Labor Day in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The week-long festival attracts some 70,000 people who pay anywhere from $425 to $1,200 a ticket to travel to a dry lake bed 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Reno, where temperatures can routinely reach 100 degrees (37.8 degrees Celsius) during the summer.
There they must carry in their own food, build their own makeshift community and engage in whatever interests them. On the gathering’s penultimate day, the giant effigy — or Man as it is known — is set ablaze during a raucous, joyful celebration.
Friends and family toasted Harvey on Saturday as a visionary, a lover of words and books, a mentor and instigator who challenged others to look at the world in new ways. “Burners,” as they’re called, left comments on the organization’s website thanking Harvey for inspiring them as artists and for creating a community.