Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies at age 70

Larry Harvey countercultural guru who founded Burning Man dies at 70

The"Man burns in the Black Rock Desert at the Burning Man festival on Aug. 31 2013

Burning Man culture has lost a great leader and an inspiring mind.

The "Man" burns on the Black Rock Desert at Burning Man near Gerlach in 2013.

The report said that on April 4, Harvey suffered a massive stroke which has failed to recover.

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

Harvey is credited with co-founding one of the most influential performance art events in history, the Burning Man festival: a weeklong impromptu city of 70,000 participants that arises annually on a dry alkali lakebed in northern Nevada - a spectacularly inhospitable environment.

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The first Burning Man event took place on a San Francisco beach in 1986 after Harvey had the idea to burn a giant effigy in celebration. At the center of this temporary but virtual metropolis is the Burning Man itself, a 40-foot-tall wooden structure outlined in neon and stuffed with fireworks that's set afire in the festival's climax.

In the past years, Burning Man attendees have included Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Harvey was also an activist, artist and philanthropist.

These days, tens of thousands of people attend the event in the desert.

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".

Within a few years the event had outgrown Baker Beach and moved to the desert.

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Harvey's last appeared in public on March 29th at the opening of a Burning Man art exhibition at the Smithsonian in the nation's capital.

"Larry was never one for labels", Goodell said in her statement "He didn't fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life". He was 100% authentic to his core.

Although known for retaining its joyful celebrative atmosphere as it grew from a small gathering to one of huge proportions, Burning Man occasionally had its problems. That same year, three other people were injured when a drunk driver ran over their tent.

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

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