Larry Harvey, the founder of the Burning Man event now held in Nevada, has died after suffering a stroke earlier this month, event CEO Marian Goodell said Saturday. He was 70.
“Burning Man culture has lost a great leader and an inspiring mind,” she said in a written statement. “He adeptly interpreted the manifestation of what became a movement. I have lost a dear friend who I’ve known, loved, and worked beside for nearly 22 years.”
Harvey had a stroke April 4, she said.
“As he told one of us recently, Larry liked to create ‘scenes’ that made people consider the world in a new way. He was extraordinarily successful at doing just that.”
Burning Man is a multiday event dedicated to art and community, where attendees are asked to follow a set of rules that include the practice of “gifting.”
Founded in San Francisco in 1986 as a bonfire ritual for summer solstice, the event moved to Nevada in 1990. Over the years, it has grown in popularity, with the temporary metropolis becoming a celebration of art and architecture, showcasing futuristic structures made with state-of-the-art technology.
“You’re free to be you,” Harvey told CNN in 1997 about the event. “The only person, the only type of person that wouldn’t like it here ultimately, that we’d recommend not come, are intolerant people. They get irritated.”
Since 2000, a wooden temple has formed the sacred center of Burning Man.
Tens of thousands of people attend the event in the Black Rock Desert.