The founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey, has been hospitalized after suffering a massive stroke, organizers of the arts festival said.
Harvey, 70, was taken to a hospital on Wednesday and he remains in critical condition. He is receiving around-the-clock medical care, organizers said, but his prognosis is currently unknown.
“If there’s one thing we know for sure, Larry wants us to burn the Man,” organizers wrote in a post on Burning Man’s website, assuring attendees that the community will continue to grow.
The event began in 1986 when Harvey burned the first “Man” at San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The 8-foot structure was made of scrap lumber and a group of about two dozen people watched it burn.
The gathering has grown to about 70,000 people in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert and a “Vitruvian Man” figure last year stood at 70 feet tall.
Organizers said many people will be startled and saddened by the news, but asked those who are affected to share well wishes, notes of gratitude and their “best and craziest” stories about Harvey.
“Thank you for sharing your love with each other, and your love of Burning Man with the world.”
The San Francisco-based Burning Man group said they will share more information once it becomes available.