It saddens us to say that Brent Grulke, the creative director for SXSW, passed away yesterday from cardiac arrest following oral surgery. He was 52 years old.
During his life, Grulke worked as a sound man and tour manager, as well as holding the title of music editor for the Austin Chronicle. He began his career with SXSW in 1987 as a stage manager. He was promoted to creative director in 1994, and it was in that position that he helped oversee the festival as it grew into the international institution it is today.
SXSW director and co-founder Roland Swenson gave a statement about Brent via Austin 360. Read it below.
“A lot of Brent’s personality was in SXSW. He was adventurous and knowledgeable and excited about creative people and endeavors. He didn’t like the usual and mundane. He was open-minded enough to know that his taste wasn’t always the most important thing, so he was open to new things.”