South by Southwest kicked off with some sad news.
Louis Meyers, a cofounder of the Austin, Texas, festival, has died. SXSW director Roland Swenson confirmed the news to CNNMoney.
Meyers, who also played guitar and banjo, was no longer involved with the festival. His direct involvement with SXSW ended in the mid-1990s.
A reporter for the Austin American-Statesman first broke the news on Twitter on Friday afternoon, shortly before President Obama’s keynote address.
Meyers had been involved with the Folk Alliance for more than a decade, according to his LinkedIn profile. The Missouri-based organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of folk music and dance.
The festival, which is in its 30th year, kicked off the Interactive portion Friday, with events focused around technology, startups and innovation.
Messages poured in on Twitter expressing condolences for Meyers’ passing. It made for a bittersweet start to the event.