Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Burning Man Founder Lee Harvey Dies At Age 70

A sign is posted at the entrance checkpoint for the Burning Man Festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert in 2000. The festival's co-founder Larry Harvey died on Saturday at 70 after suffering a massive stroke Burning Man Founder Lee Harvey Dies At Age 70
Judith Alexander | 30 April, 2018, 11:43

According to a statement from Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, Harvey was surrounded by family members in San Francisco when he died peacefully Saturday morning.

The AP once described Burning Man as "an esoteric mix of pagan fire ritual and sci-fi Dada circus where some paint their bodies, bang drums, dance naked and wear costumes that would draw stares in a Mardi Gras parade".

Harvey is survived by his son Tristan, his brother Stewart, "and a global community of devoted Burning Man participants inspired by his vision to build a more creative, cooperative, and generous world", the website said.

Harvey became the father figure of a $30-million-a-year performance art movement, receiving some $200,000 annually for his creation. I have lost a dear friend who I've known, loved, and worked beside for almost 22 years.

Harvey had a stroke April 4, she said.

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Within a few years the event had outgrown Baker Beach and moved to the desert. By 1993, the festival attracted 1,000 people and began doubling in size each of the next couple of years.

As many as 70,000 people from around the world now flock to a the weeklong celebration. A large, wooden man is burned at the end of the week to celebrate the ending of the festival, which has become a cultural phenomenon for spiritual guidance, self-expression, and art.

Harvey remained president of the Burning Man's board as well as "chief philosophic officer" and was heavily involved in the planning of every year's Burning Man festival until the time of his death.

Tickets for the event sell out very quickly and don't come cheap. Among the tens of thousands of attendees making the trek to Nevada's Black Rock desert are programmers, web designers and even a few millionaire executives. With this full page spread, Burning Man remembers its fearless leader. Even former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has attended the event. "He was always a passionate advocate for our culture and principles that emanate from the Burning Man experience in the Black Rock Desert", Goodell wrote on the website.

Many stories have been told about why Harvey made a decision to build a wooden man and set it ablaze on the beach in 1986.

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