Larry Harvey, the guru-like driving force behind Burning Man, the globally celebrated anti-establishment, anti-consumerist festival that he and a friend began 32 years ago on a San Francisco beach, died on Saturday at a hospital in San Francisco. He was 70.
His death was announced on the Burning Man website.
Last year’s celebration drew roughly 70,000 participants, who were free to bring or build their own arts projects, perform their own music, dress any way they liked (participants in “drag races” run on foot, dressed in drag) or go nude — and dance and chant “Burn the man” during the big finale. That’s when a skeletal five-story-tall wood and neon man-shaped statue, stuffed with fireworks, is set ablaze.
Burning Man is run by Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization that has an annual operating budget of about $30 million, according to the website. At his death, Mr. Harvey’s title was board president and chief philosophic officer.