Grulke began his career with SXSW in 1987 as a stage manager. He was promoted to creative director in 1994, and was an integral part in the festival becoming one of the biggest events in the industry. Today, SXSW hosts over 2,000 music acts, in addition to film screenings and panels, across the city’s many venues.
SXSW director and co-founder Roland Swenson said in an issued statement (via Austin 360): “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.”