The Man with the Hat: A Celebration of Larry Harvey’s Life and Legacy (July 14 in San Francisco)

I had a well-honed strategy when it came to my conversations with Larry: I’d block out a solid three hours, putting everything else aside, because I knew from experience that our “30 minutes” would inevitably evolve into a circuitous rollercoaster ride through whatever was on his mind, and would end only after I begged out of the conversation due to intellectual exhaustion. But when we moved into an open floor plan at Burning Man HQ, he could just meander on over unannounced and strike up an impromptu conversation, blowing my plan, and usually a good chunk of my day, out of the water — leaving in his wake innumerable stories and anecdotes I’ll long hold dear. The man absolutely loved to talk, and to tell stories, and I loved listening to him.

Since the day Larry and his friends burned the first Man on Baker Beach in 1986, Burning Man has grown through the power of storytelling. With the impassioned tales people have shared — informing, instigating, and inspiring each other — Burning Man has become a global cultural movement, with over 80 regional Burning Man events happening around the world and more than 270 regional contacts in over 35 countries.

As we continue to mourn the loss of Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man, who held and nurtured a singular vision to create community through an extreme crucible of Radical Self-expression, and built it on the foundation of gifting one’s self to the greater good, we can think of no better way to celebrate his memory than through the thing he loved most: storytelling.

Rosalie Barnes and I (both proud Burning Man staff alumni) are producing, in partnership with Burning Man Project, “The Man With the Hat: A Celebration of Larry Harvey’s Life and Legacy” at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre on Saturday, July 14. Please RSVP to the Facebook event here and invite your friends.

We’re gathering some of our community’s finest contributors to shine a light on Larry’s life and path, exploring the man, his motivations and the global cultural reverberations he instigated. In honor of Larry’s greatest passions, we’re curating a wonderful multi-faceted experience of art, inspiration, live music, ritual, performance, theater, participation, and surprises.

The global community came together in a beautiful way on June 21, the solstice, as we saw through your expressions of gratitude on social media, and in person at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. We are looking to keep that momentum going, and you won’t want to miss this momentous event, marking the end of an era and the dawning of the next. Whether or not you’ve ever set foot on the playa, whether you’re a first-timer or a Burning Man veteran, you’re encouraged to join us, and contribute your energy to this beautiful evening’s creation.

Details and tickets here.


Top photo by Benjamin Slayter

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

13 Comments on “The Man with the Hat: A Celebration of Larry Harvey’s Life and Legacy (July 14 in San Francisco)

  • Fluffy Sweet Happy says:

    I’m hoping that he’s still on ice and the Org can bring him out Weekend at Bernie’s style. I still want to get a selfie with the man who changed the world and enlightened the masses and ended racism and fed all the starving children.

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  • JYT says:

    @Fluffy Sweet Happy
    I know what you mean. He changed my life. Before Burning Man all my friends hated me and kicked me out of our town. But then I heard about this magic man and his kingdom of love. I went to Burning Man and found so many new friends, but a year later everyone hated me again. But the bright side of the story is that I found a new camp and everyone really liked me, but then they stopped liking me. But Larry Harvey!!! F’ing awesome. Changed my life, man. Totally transformed and stuff.

    I need a ticket this year, if anyone has a free one. I really need it. For real this time. No joke. PM me, I can come to your house, like today.

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    • JYT says:

      I just want to say again that I can come and pick up the ticket at your house TODAY. If you’re at work, I can come there. We’re a big family. You could come to my house but I’m in my bros couch and his GF hates me and can’t have friends over anymore. But for real, i can meet you anywhere. But it’s best if you come to where I am because I don’t have a car or any money to go anywhere. But totally if I did, I’d meet you anywhere. I love you! Thank you! You’re so amazing! Burning Man! For real!!!!!!

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      • JYT says:

        I can’t meet you tomorrow, though. We’re doing a 24 hour bong rip session starting at 9. Off the hook. You could come, but bring the ticket. You have to bring the ticket. That’s the deal. Let’s party! Bring the ticket.

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  • jyt says:

    The bong rip session got cancelled because my bro spent all his money on rent and other stuff. So you can’t come over tomorrow to party. The guy sucks really. His GF totally owns him. But I can meet you at Starbucks because they let me stay there without buying anything because of what happened with the blacks. Seriously, call me. PM me. Anything! You’re awesome!

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  • Barry Yelk says:

    Will Larry’s ashes be in the Temple this year?

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    • jyt says:

      Does it matter? You can’t burn ashes again. We’re hoping they didn’t burn him and he’s still on ice so we can get selfies this year. He’s a saint. Might even come back to life.

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      • lifeisshort says:

        “you can’t burn ashes again”…..Pretty sure you can and they DO…….. Oh and jyt, you are hilarious…..clearly missed your calling as a comedian

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    • Jeremy Horner says:

      I seriously doubt it, you realize that when the temple is burned, they scoop up all the burned material and take it to the dump, larry’s ashes are not destined to live in a dump.

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  • Anabell says:

    I’m hoping that he’s still on ice and the Org can bring him out Weekend at Bernie’s style. I still want to get a selfie with the man who changed the world and enlightened the masses and ended racism and fed all the starving children.

    Report comment

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