Buzz It Up News

Died the founder of the Burning Man festival

In a statement Saturday, festival CEO Marian Goodell said, "Burning Man culture has lost a great leader and an inspiring mind".

The gathering has grown to about 70,000 people in Nevada's Black Rock Desert and a "Vitruvian Man" figure a year ago stood at 70 feet tall.

Harvey had a stroke on April 4.

"We resolutely held out for a miracle", wrote Burning Man Project CEO Goodell in the "Burning Man Journal".

In 1986, Harvey made a Burning Man on a San Francisco beach, later moving the annual event to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

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. The idea behind Burning Man was to commemorate the beginning of the summer solstice.

Within a few years the event had outgrown Baker Beach and moved to the desert. Harvey was also an activist, artist and philanthropist.

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.

Burning Man's announcement of Harvey's passing describes him as a someone who "didn't fit a mold" and "was 100% authentic to his core".

Although known for retaining its joyful celebrative atmosphere as it grew from a small gathering to one of enormous proportions, Burning Man occasionally had its problems.

By the turn of the century the festival had transformed not only the surrounding towns and cities, it had caused a global art movement, as smaller satellite events under the Burning Man rubric sprang up around the globe.

In 2017, a man ran into Burning Man's flames, suffered burns over nearly all of his body and died. In 1996, a man died after his motorcycle crashed into a van of festival-goers, and three others were injured in a separate incident involving a drunk driver, the AP reports. That's when a skeletal five-story-tall wood and neon man-shaped statue, stuffed with fireworks, is set ablaze.

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

Related Articles