Susan Sarandon Takes Timothy Leary’s Ashes to Burning Man

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Susan Sarandon gathered the ashes of her late friend and LSD guru Timothy Leary and brought them to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert to be burned.

According to USA Today, the actress led a procession into a makeshift church/art installation where she deposited a chest holding the ashes of Leary, who died in 1996. The temporary church was then burned, along with the eponymous “burning man” effigy, in a large spectacle on Saturday night.

“I think he’d be so happy,” Sarandon told the paper of the ceremony held in Leary’s honor. “I think he would have loved the chaos (of Burning Man). He would have loved it. And all these people honoring him with LSD.”

Sarandon reportedly wore a white gown with a crown of roses in leading the procession into the church. She was followed by two men holding a vintage chest containing Leary’s ashes and several people holding black-and-white photographs of the late philosopher and “high priest of LSD.”

“When I went to Burning Man last time, that’s when I thought I’d bring him back,” Sarandon told USA Today. The actress reportedly held onto some of her late friend’s ashes when she was gifted them after his death.

The Burning Man festival, held each year in the week leading up to Labor Day in Nevada’a makeshift Black Rock City, comes to a close on Sunday. 70,000 festival-goers who journeyed into the desert to create and share in temporary art installations and pop-up villages are expected to leave the festival over the next few days and attempt to “leave no trace” that they were ever there, a key part of the festival’s ethos.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had conducted intelligence gathering operations at past iterations of Burning Man, although it wasn’t clear if the agency maintained a presence at this year’s gathering.


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