The Creative Director of South by Southwest Festival, Brent Grulke has sadly passed away aged 52. Grulke started his career with SXSW in 1987 working as a stage manager until his promotion to Creative Director in 1994 overseeing the growth of the iconic festival into one of the biggest events in the music calendar which now showcases some two thousand acts each year.

Brent Gulke suffered a cardiac arrest following oral surgery, a statement from SXSW Director and co-founder, Roland Swenson issued the following statement:

"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."

Our condolences go out to his friends, colleagues and family.