When we invited you to celebrate the life of Larry Harvey on the Summer Solstice and the 32nd anniversary of the first Burning Man, we knew you’d show up as a community. There was no question about that (you are Burners after all!). We just didn’t know how it would feel, how much it would deeply touch us that you did.
Larry’s effect on the world is undeniably vast and immeasurable, yet it’s important to point out that he was much more than the “man behind the Man” to us. He was our friend. So when we learned of the many beautiful ways you honored Larry from the photos, videos, and stories you shared on social media (the hashtags #thankslarry, #larryharvey, and #burningsolstice helped us), we were genuinely moved.
Wherever you were and however you showed your appreciation on the Global Celebration and Day of Gratitude, we truly felt the love and we continue to be moved by your individual and collective efforts.
Here in the Bay Area, many of us headed to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach where a modest wooden effigy was erected…
And later, set on fire…as one does:
We weren’t the only ones having a Burn. People from all over the globe did too.
In Virginia Beach, the Tidewater Burners put a “Man in a hat” on paddle boats and then lit him on fire:
A wooden Man with a cardboard face was torched in New Zealand:
Some San Diego Burners gathered at Fiesta Island to burn their Man:
In Washington state a tiny Man on popsicle stick base was set aflame:
A Burner in London made a “Tiny Man” in a pan:
A Swiss couple hosted a small gathering in the Zurich area. Their Man donned sparklers:
A bike social club in Toronto had their own mini-Man Burn, complete with firecrackers:
And in Gerlach, founders Will Roger Peterson and Crimson Rose had people walk through their magical labyrinth:
A few days earlier, there were remembrances in places like New York and Nevada:
Kostume Kult bucked the trend by hosting a day-glo party complete with Stetson-like hats as decorations:
In Reno there was a candlelight vigil at “Believe,” Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg’s previously-on-playa sculpture. There were bagpipers:
(There were many more glorious and thoughtful events that happened worldwide, it’s a shame we can’t feature them all!)
When we sent out the announcement for this day of reflection, we had suggested that everyone, at sundown, take time to ponder how Larry Harvey and Burning Man had affected their lives. On Ocean Beach, as our mini-Man burned, we did that as well. Then, we vocalized:
Burning Man has never been about one man (no, not even the wooden one we torch every year in the desert), it’s about us coming together to create something bigger than ourselves. The Man will burn year after year because we will be the ones to keep Larry’s flame alive.
So, to each and every one of you who participated, however big or small, we want to say thank you. We are tremendously grateful to you all for showing up as a community and giving thanks to the life and legacy of our original instigator, Larry Harvey.
Want to see more photos and read the stories that your community posted about “Larry day”? Scroll through both the event’s page on Facebook and the Instagram page on the special Larry Harvey tribute site.
Also, if you will be in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, July 14, please consider attending The Man With The Hat: A Memorial Storytelling Event Celebrating Larry Harvey’s Life & Legacy. It’ll be a special evening of storytelling, music, live performances, video, and audience participation at the historic Castro Theatre. Tickets are available now.
Top photo by Chuck Revell