Louis Meyers, Co-Founder of SXSW, Dies

Johnny Cash performing at SXSW in 1994.
Catherine McGann/Getty Images

Johnny Cash performing at SXSW in 1994.

Louis Meyers, a co-founder of the South By Southwest music festival which begins its 30th edition today, has died. The news was confirmed to Billboard by representatives of the festival.

Meyers was part of the original team that birthed SXSW out of New York's New Music Seminar, along with Roland Swenson, Nick Barbaro and Louis Black, in 1987.

Meyers sold his part of SXSW in 1994, telling Celebrity Access that the reason was "burnout. The stress of the conference, primarily the music festival, was causing health problems for me, so it was time to step aside." Meyers was involved in several ventures after departing his native Austin, before returning to head up a music television channel.

Meyers was also a musician, playing banjo and recording, touring, producing or performing with Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Bob Schneider, Killbilly, The Killer Bees, Mojo Nixon, Fastball, Willis Alan Ramsey, Tommy Ramone, and Jello Biafra, among many others.

Fond remembrances and tributes have flooded Meyers' Facebook wall since learning of his passing. Writes one friend: "Thank you for making music your passion and taking so many along the road to better opportunities, new friendships and magical, musical moments."

Correction, Mar. 11, 11:34 a.m.: This article mistakenly identified Linda Owen and JoRae DiMenno as co-founders of South By Southwest.