I wanted to be sure that all of my readers were aware that Larry Harvey had passed away following a massive stroke. Some of you may already have received the letter I’ve reproduced below from Marian Goodell, the chief executive officer of Burning Man and a founding board member of the organization. It was distributed on Saturday. I’ll let Marian’s letter speak for itself.
I have very sad news to share with all of you. Larry Harvey passed away at 8:24am PST this morning. He passed peacefully, with his family at his side.
We resolutely held out for a miracle. If there was anyone tenacious, strong-willed and stubborn enough to come back from this challenge, it was Larry. Your outpouring of love, support, and prayers was felt deeply by his family and friends as we each spent time at Larry’s bedside 24/7 these past three weeks. I truly believe Larry felt your thoughts, healing energy and prayers. I know I did. The love sent to him filled more than his room in the hospital — it overflowed onto each of us at his bedside.
Larry was never one for labels. He didn’t fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life. He was 100% authentic to his core. For all of us who knew or worked with him, he was a landscape gardener, a philosopher, a visionary, a wit, a writer, an inspiration, an instigator, a mentor, and at one point a taxi driver and a bike messenger. He was always a passionate advocate for our culture and the principles that emanate from the Burning Man experience in the Black Rock Desert.
As he told one of us recently, Larry liked to create “scenes” that made people consider the world in a new way. He was extraordinarily successful at doing just that.
The Burning Man Project has lost our original Founder. He liked to joke and say “finders, flounders, founders, a little bit of all of those… at our best we are finders.” The culture has lost a great leader and inspiring mind. He adeptly interpreted the manifestation of what became a movement. I have lost a dear friend who I’ve known, loved, and worked beside for nearly 22 years. The loss of his presence in our daily lives will be felt for years, but because of the spirit of who he is, we will never truly be without him.
We have begun a meditation vigil to help guide Larry on his journey through Monday morning, and invite you to join. Please feel free to participate from wherever you are. We also encourage those in San Francisco to visit Baker Beach, the original home of Burning Man, to honor and celebrate Larry this weekend.
We will also be planning a celebration of Larry’s life in the weeks to come and will share details when we have them. If you would like to share your photos, stories, and videos, you can post them on larry.burningman.org. You can also send your thoughts to TheHat@burningman.org which will also be shared directly with Larry’s family.
Stuart Mangrum, a dear friend of Larry’s for 25 years, has written a tribute to Larry. You can read it on the Burning Man Journal. And Larry’s brother Stewart Harvey has shared a photo essay of Larry’s life, which is also on the Burning Man Journal.
Larry would be the first to say this isn’t an ending, but the start of a new chapter, and we all have a hand in where we go from here.
With love, ️