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Louis Meyers, Co-Founder of SXSW, Dies at 60

Louis Meyers, the co-founder of the South By Southwest festival, has died. He was 60.

Meyers died on the first day of the 30th edition of SXSW. He started the festival alongside Roland Swenson, Nick Barbaro, Louis Black, Joe Rae DiMenno and Linda Owen in 1987. Meyers’ goal was to bring more exposure to Austin-based musicians. Today, President Barack Obama spoke at the festival, becoming the first sitting president to do so.

The festival founder sold his part of SXSW in 1994, citing “burnout” as the reason.

“The stress of the conference, primarily the music festival, was causing health problems for me, so it was time to step aside,” Meyers said to Celebrity Access.

Aengus Finnan, who replaced Meyers in 2014 as the Folk Alliance International Director, called the man a “musician’s musician” as well as a leader in the industry.

Aside from starting SXSW, Meyers also played the banjo and recorded, toured and produced with such acts as Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Bob Schneider, Killbilly, the Killer Bees, Mojo Nixon, Fastballs, Willis Alan Ramsey, Tommy Ramone and Jello Biafra.

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