Larry Harvey, the counterculture icon behind the Burning Man festival, died Saturday at the age of 70, a few weeks after suffering a stroke.
Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, said in a post published on the organization’s website that the founder of the festival died in a San Francisco hospital.
Mr. Harvey was hospitalized since his April 4th stroke.
“We have definitely stood up for a miracle,” Ms. Goodell wrote in her tribute. “If there was someone tenacious and stubborn enough to survive that, it was Larry. Although we all hoped he would recover, he died in peace this morning at 8:24 am in San Francisco, surrounded by family members.”
Larry Harvey created Burning Man on a beach in San Francisco in 1986. Over the years, the art-inspired event and the symbolic burning of a giant wooden man has become so popular that he has established his home in the Black Rock desert, Nevada.
At age 70, the founder was still heavily involved in Burning Man, which attracts tens of thousands of people each year to Black Rock, about two hours north of Reno.
In particular, we owe him the names of the streets of Black Rock City. He also contributed every year to the design of the central effigy of the event, burned the penultimate night of the festival, which lasts a week.
While Burning Man attracts followers of meditation, art or those who like to dress up and dance, the event is centered around 10 principles created by Larry Harvey.
According to what the man has already said, he wrote these “10 commandments” in a café in Mexico in 2004. These principles, which include radical autonomy, inclusion and self-expression, aim to give the Burners (festival participants) the chance to experience the most rewarding experience possible.
Larry Harvey also gave several versions of the story behind the construction of a wooden man and his burning on a beach in 1986. One of them, told a reporter in a jingling tone, wanted the character represents an ex-girlfriend. This is not the case, but the joke has remained.
In recent years, the man has been criticized for making Burning Man a lucrative project of disproportionate size. Others consider that he has become a kind of guru.
In her tribute, Marian Goodell explains that Larry Harvey never liked the labels because “he could not be categorized” and that he “was 100% authentic”.
“For all those who knew him or worked with him, he was a landscape painter, a philosopher, a visionary of great intelligence, a writer, a source of inspiration, an instigator, a mentor, and at one point a taxi driver and a messenger on a bike. He has always been a passionate advocate of our culture and the principles that emanate from the Burning Man experience in the Black Rock Desert, “she wrote.
She added that her death is a great loss for what has become a movement, but that it will not slow them down.
“The loss of his presence in our daily lives will be felt for years, but thanks to the spirit of what he is, we will never really be without him. Larry would be the first to say that this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter, and that we all have a role to play, “she concludes.
Brenda Ryu is a reporter for Island Daily Tribune. After graduating from University of Prince Edward Island, Brenda got an internship at CBC News Atlantic and worked as a reporter and sound producer. Brenda has also worked as a reporter for Huff Post Canada. Brenda h covers entertainment and community events for Island Daily Tribune.