Larry Harvey, Co-Founder of Burning Man Festival, Dies at 70

Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies at age 70
Larry Harvey, Co-Founder of Burning Man Festival, Dies at 70
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30 April, 2018

Burning Man culture has lost a great leader and an inspiring mind.

The gathering has grown to about 70,000 people in Nevada's Black Rock Desert and a "Vitruvian Man" figure past year stood at 70 feet tall. The actual cause of death has yet to be determined, however, Harvey had suffered a massive stroke earlier this month, according to CBS News. "We resolutely held out for a miracle", said Goodell.

Larry Harvey, co-founder of the Burning Man festival, is seen during a 2011 party at Media Mecca, the communications center during the festival in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.

Begun in the late 1980s as an outgrowth of a whimsical desire to burn a wooden statue on a small San Francisco beach, Harvey's idea morphed into a desert extravaganza that became so popular it fomented a backlash as ticket prices and attendance soared.

While Harvey would speak frequently about Burning Man in the years that followed, he would reveal little about himself and it was often hard to discern truth from fiction.

A tribute to Harvey was also posted on Burning Man's Instagram.

In 2013, Harvey turned Burning Man into a nonprofit and employed only 70 people and maintained a budget of $30 million, which was spent exclusively on the festival.

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His death was announced on the Burning Man website.

The event quickly grew and moved to a remote location in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, about a two-hour drive north of Reno.

"Larry was never one for labels", Goodell said in her statement "He didn't fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life".

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. He was 100 percent authentic to his core.

Although known for retaining its joyful celebrative atmosphere as it grew from a small gathering to one of very big proportions, Burning Man occasionally had its problems.

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, three people were injured when a drunken driver ran over their tent.

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


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