Burning Man Founder Lee Harvey Dies At Age 70

The Man in the Hat, Larry Harvey, Passes | Burning Man Journal

He created a giant wooden figure and burned it to the ground led to the famous, long-running counterculture celebration known as "Burning Man". His cause of death has not yet been determined, but Harvey had been hospitalized since April 4 after suffering a massive stroke. "As he would have wished it, let us always Burn the Man".

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.

A native of Portland, Ore. and college drop-out, Harvey worked various odds jobs around San Francisco before beginning his journey towards making Burning Man come alive in Black Rock City, Nev.

Lee Harvey's loss is sorely felt by the countless people whose lives and worldviews have been affected by Burning Man and the culture that has sprung up around it, but his name and his message will continue to reverberate across the playa and beyond for years to come.

In the past years, Burning Man attendees have included Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

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Within a few years the event had outgrown Baker Beach and moved to the desert. "Burners", as they're called, left comments on the organization's website thanking Harvey for inspiring them as artists and for creating a community.

Today the multi-day annual Burning Man event, held in late August and early September, attracts tens of thousands of people, and features interactive art exhibits as well as big-name music performers.

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. He was 100 percent authentic to his core. One ticket to Burning Man can range anywhere from $425 to $1,200. In 1996, a man was killed when his motorcycle and a van carrying festival-goers collided. That's when a skeletal five-story-tall wood and neon man-shaped statue, stuffed with fireworks, is set ablaze.

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

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