R.I.P. Brent Grulke Of SXSW - Noise11.com
Brent Grulke 2011, Photo Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, photo

Brent Grulke 2011, Photo Ros O'Gorman

R.I.P. Brent Grulke Of SXSW

by Paul Cashmere on August 14, 2012

in News,Noise Pro

There is sad news for the music industry to report this morning. Brent Grulke, the creative director of SXSW, has died at the age of 52.

Brent Grulke 2011, Photo Ros O'Gorman

Brent Grulke 2011, Photo Ros O'Gorman

Brent had been with SXSW, the Austin music conference and festival, since its inception in 1987. In 1994 he became creative director of the festival and was the person responsible for booking the bands.

For the last few weeks Brent had been in London for the Olympics and had only just returned to Austin.

Brent went into cardiac arrest while at a dentist surgery today and died two hours later.

Last year I had the privilege to host Brent’s keynote speech at the Face The Music conference in Melbourne. We spent a lot of time together during his week in Melbourne. He was a listener, he was passionate about music and he had great stories.

His good friend, Australia’s SXSW representative Phil Tripp is in shock this morning with the news. Phil tells fond stories about Brent’s trip to Australia last year and his love of a great red wine.

Phil shared these words this morning:

“My heart is heavy, my cheeks soaked. I got a call from Millie
Millgate at 8 this morning thinking that I knew about Brent but thank
God I got the word from her and was not alone opening an email. We
cried together, and I’m crying now just thinking about it. I feel so
useless, what can I say or do.

“So I look out on the bright sun of a gorgeous breeze-kissed morning,
remembering the great times we shared, especially the night before
the music conference in Sydney at Tetsuya’s that we had planned for
months with fellow raconteurs and connoisseurs of vinous and
distilled spirits-Jeff Price of Tunecore and Ted Cohen. Each of us
brought a special bottle of wine, we ploughed through 14 courses and
finished off the night without casualty. Brent, as always, was a wry
wit, a perfect gentleman and all around great guy to be with.

“Those qualities are the ones I will remember, not the sadness of
today discovering that I lost a ‘family member’ from my team of tight
comrades who I have grown over a decade to fondly work with. He
can’t be replaced but he wil always be remembered in my life”.

Noise11 understands that the SXSW office on Austin has been shut today as the news sinks in to the many friends of Brent who had worked with him for years.

To Brent’s SXSW co-workers, family and friends, our deepest condolences. To Roland Swenson and Elizabeth Derzco at SXSW, we are thinking of you at this time. In the music business Brent’s name reached around a planet and he will be dearly missed.

Watch Brent’s keynote speech at Face The Music 2011.

Part 1

Part 2

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