“Larry was never one for labels. He didn’t fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life.” – Marian Goodell, Burning Man CEO

burning man festival founder dies

Founder of Burning Man festival, Larry Harvey suffered a stroke and passed away at his home in San Francisco on April 28, Saturday. The team behind the annual festival, those who worked with Larry and the participants or fellow ‘burners’ mourn for the truly tragic loss.

What is the Burning Man Festival?

The Burning Man is a late summer event held in Black Rock City, it’s in the western side of United States, specifically in Rock Desert, Nevada. It is a non-profit organization and it is known for two things: the first one is it is a cultural event where everybody can practice self-expression with community cooperation and the second is the erection of more than a 9-foot man made out of unused wood and burn it down.

Since it is known for being an open organization, this event is open for everybody, literally, like everybody can join.

Mr. Harvey even said, “Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.”

As A Cultural Event

The Burning Man has a simple description about what it is and that is to unite people through the generalities of art but this event is influenced by ten principles and that is:

  • Radical Inclusion
  • Self- reliance
  • Self-expression
  • Community cooperation
  • Civic responsibility
  • Gifting
  • ‘Decommodification’
  • Participation
  • Immediancy
  • Leaving no trace

Some Cool Facts and Tips about the Burning Man

Did you know?

  • The burning man festival isn’t about dressing provocatively, making out with people, drinking tons of beer, or smoking weed. Burning Man isn’t some temporary fun that you agree with your friends but it is supposed to give you a recreational and explorative journey while meeting with people that you don’t really meet in a normal basis. The event is about giving love and making special moments that can only be experienced in that place
  • There are many famous celebrities and powerful people who learned throughout the event and are advocate ‘burners’ : some celebrities like Katy Perry, Jared Leto, Karlie Kloss, Mohamed Hadid, Cara Delevigne, Derek Blasberg, and so much more!
  • It is claimed that the most amazing experience is your first time coming to the event. After a long ride towards Rock Desert, Nevada and you finally are outside the gate, the organizers would start hugging you and welcome you ‘home’.
  • When you get inside the event you have to scream ‘I am not a virgin anymore!’
  • There is a principle in this event which is called ‘gifting’ that means you give people unconditional gifts or hugs. You feel very loved when people around you gives you hugs and you give hugs to them. Many people share the gift of talent, music, art and laughs.
  • People are very approachable in this event.
  • You will experience the sun setting and rising before you.
  • They will burn the big wooden man ever Saturday. People claims that it is such an emotional part of the event.
  • In its first year, every info about the event spread like fire and the amount of people going to the event is more than Larry expected.

  • In 1986, Larry and Jerry James burned the first wooden man. They continued the ritual that was created by Mary Grauberger.
  • Since that Burning Man is located in a desert, you have to prepare your own provisions like bring goggles and masks. You should prepare for possible sand storms.
  • The Burning Man event is an event that is heavily relying to volunteers, since that it is a non-profit organization.

The Man Behind the Success

Larry Harvey was known for his bold and eccentric ideas. He is an artist, philanthropist and an activist. He co-founded it with his friend Jerry James. It first started out with just the both of them as a ritual for the upcoming summer solstice and throughout the years people are intrigued of what they are doing. It used to be a funded organization, where people are to pay when they joined but now it’s a non-profit organization. Mr. Harvey and James, and also their team has worked very hard for making Burning Man as popular as it is now. Imagine all the labor and effort they have to put through to make the event into a legacy.

In the first quote of this article, Larry was a lot of things. Aside from Burning Man, he used to write scripts and co-chair in certain organizations and he used to be featured in events in San Francisco. He is also a private man, meaning that there are not allot of people who knows about his personal life.