Larry Harvey, one of the key co-creators of Burning Man, has passed away at the age of 70-years-old. Larry died yesterday, Saturday morning, April 28th, as a counter-cultural icon.
According to multiple reports, Harvey was surrounded by family and friends in his final moments, as confirmed by the CEO of Burning Man Project, Marian Goodell.
While the exact cause of his passing isn’t currently known, it is believed that he suffered a stroke earlier in the month. Stuart Mangrum, one of his oldest friends, said on the Burning Man website that Harvey didn’t believe heaven or hell after death.
He finished his commemorative statement with the wish for everyone to always “Burn The Man.” As you may know, Burning Man has become perhaps one of the most interesting festivals in the United States and it typically attracts around 70,000 people who pay around $425 to $1,200 for a ticket.
Our founder, friend, and original instigator, Larry Harvey has passed away. Larry was a visionary, a mentor, a philosopher, and a passionate advocate for Burning Man's culture and principles. We have lost our founder. The world has lost a great leader and an inspiring mind. The loss of his presence in our daily lives will be felt for years, but because of the spirit of who he is, we will never truly be without him. Read more on the Burning Man Journal… Photo by @scott.london
Because of its legendary status, the festival tickets typically sell out almost right away. Harvey said back in 2007 that when he started it, he didn’t realize how popular it would be. His intentions were “modest.”
Additionally, Harvey proved to be a mysterious figure who would often contradict himself in stories where he would talk about himself.
In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Harvey said he thought that his parents conceived him in the back of a truck and abandoned him after he was born.
However, the festival was not without its problems, including the injuries of intoxicated individuals, as well as the malicious actions of pranksters, including one man who set the Burning Man statue ablaze four days too early.
Furthermore, Harvey and the other co-creator, John Law, had a falling out and Harvey sued to have the trademark in the public domain. Harvey frequently spoke about the “commodification of popular culture,” and vehemently refused to trademark the Burning Man figure.