Burning Man founder dead at 70

Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies at age 70

Our founder, friend, and original instigator, Larry Harvey has passed away.

Burning Man was founded in June 1986 when Mr Harvey and his friend Jerry Goodell burned a wooden man on Baker Beach in San Francisco to mark the summer solstice. Less than a week later, on April 4th, Lee Harvey suffered the massive stroke that would eventually claim his life. Hence the name Burning Man. "And he said, 'Can you say that again?' And I did and we did it". In 1990, it moved to the remote Nevada desert and began to grow rapidly. In 2004, Harvey documented the budding ideology behind the vent in "10 Principles of Burning Man".

It wasn't until afterward, Harvey recalled, that he had the epiphany that led to Burning Man.

"Unlike art festivals of the past, in which attendees would pay a fee to observe creations, the Burning Man festival promoted itself from the beginning as an inclusive event with 'No Spectators".

In spite of his apparent success he never gave up his tiny one-bedroom rent-controlled apartment in the Alamo Square section of San Francisco, where he lived alone until the end of his life.

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Burning Man's announcement of Harvey's passing describes him as a someone who "didn't fit a mold" and "was 100% authentic to his core". One ticket to Burning Man can range anywhere from $425 to $1,200.

Harvey remained president of the Burning Man's board as well as "chief philosophic officer" and was heavily involved in the planning of every year's Burning Man festival until the time of his death. Last year, a man died after running into the burning flames and suffering burns on nearly his entire body. That same year, three other people were injured when a drunk driver ran over their tent.

In 2007, a prankster set fire to Burning Man four days early and it had to be frantically rebuilt while the man was charged with arson. In 1996, a man was killed when his motorcycle and a van carrying festival-goers collided.

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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