Co-founder of Burning Man festival Larry Harvey dies after stroke

Larry Harvey co-founder of the Burning Man festival is seen during a 2011 party at Media Mecca the communications center during the festival in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada. (John C

Larry Harvey co-founder of the Burning Man festival is seen during a 2011 party at Media Mecca the communications center during the festival in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada. (John C

Larry Harvey, founder of the Burning Man arts festival, has died in San Francisco aged 70.

Harvey died surrounded by family members at his San Francisco home, the official online Burning Man Journal said. Less than a week later, on April 4th, Lee Harvey suffered the massive stroke that would eventually claim his life.

Burning Man is now a revered weeklong annual event that takes place in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, north of Reno, but there is no firm consensus on whether it is a spiritual retreat, performance art, a music festival, a construction project or just an excuse to party in the middle of scorching heat and dust storms.

"A humanist at heart, Larry did not believe in any sort of existence after death", longtime friend Stuart Mangrum said Saturday. We resolutely held out for a miracle. On the gathering's penultimate day, the giant effigy - or Man as it is known - is set ablaze during a raucous, joyful celebration.

Harvey is remembered by friends and family on the Burning Man website as someone who "lit a flame that in turn drew these free spirits to him", and for manifesting one of the greatest legacies of counterculture to ever come out of San Francisco.

"A city in the desert".

His death was announced on the Burning Man website.

In the past years, Burning Man attendees have included Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Festival-goers pay anywhere from $425 to $1,200 a ticket to travel to the scorching hot desert, according to the Associated Press, where they bring their own food, camp out and partake in a range of events.

Since 2000, a wooden temple has formed the sacred center of Burning Man.

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. 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.

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

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