South by Southwest faced tragedy early Thursday morning when an allegedly drunk driver barreled into a huge crowd of festival-goers at South by Southwest in Austin. Two people were killed, and at least 23 were injured. Five of those injuries were considered critical in the early morning hours, according to The Associated Press.

The man killed has been identified as 35-year-old music executive Steven Craenmehr by MassiveMusic. The Facebook statement is below:

"It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our close friend and colleague Steven Craenmehr, 35, on March 13th, 2014 at SXSW. During the 8 years that Steven worked for MassiveMusic, we got to know him as an unstoppable force, full of life, love and laughter. This is an irreplaceable loss for the MassiveMusic family and we are grateful for the years we spent with him. Our thoughts are with Steven’s family and friends. Please note that tonight’s MassiveTalent Night has been cancelled."

Watch video footage below:

The identity of the driver in a gray Toyota sedan has not yet been released by the police, but the man who plowed into the celebratory crowd is in custody.

UPDATE: "KVUE's Tony Plohetski has confirmation from two sources that the suspect is Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21. Police have not yet released his name, but say he will be charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a vehicle."

When the SXSW festival launched in 1987, there were only 700 registrants. Today it is considered  the largest music festival of its kind, with more than 2,200 official performers. Now more than 20,000 festival-goers descend on Austin every March to listen to music, see new films or attend interactive digital events. 

The huge success of South by Southwest has been an economic boon to Austin, filling hotels and restaurants to capacity. The downside is that many of those festival-goers admit to drinking heavily all week, which Jimmy Kimmel joked about on his show earlier this week. It is not yet clear whether the allegedly drunk driver was from Austin or visiting for the music festival. But, either way, critics say that the raucous festival creates an environment that encourages excessive drinking.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters at a news conference around 12:30 a.m. that the police tried multiple times to pull over the driver of the sedan. But the driver would not pull over. Instead he starting speeding, driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

The policeman followed the speeding car, but the driver didn't stop. He came to Red River Street and went right through a barricade that was meant to separate cars from concert-goers, according to The Austin American-Statesman.

The driver still kept going, driving through tons of pedestrians, hitting many people who were waiting outside The Mohawk Club, according to police. He soon drove into a moped with a man and woman on it. Both the man and woman died before getting to a hospital.

Nevertheless, the driver kept plowing through the crowd. He soon hit a taxi and parked van. Once that occurred, the driver jumped out of his car and started running on foot. The policeman chased the driver and stopped him with a stun gun.

Owens is facing two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle, according to The Star-Telegram.

Whether the driver had been drinking or taking drugs before the fatal car crash and injuries, the horrifying tragedy raises countless questions about the format of festivals. Many concert-goers are between the ages of 15 and 25. Some of them are in high school, college or still living with parents.

Police have long known that music festivals go hand in hand with drugs and drinking. But because they also promote what is considered "positive commerce" in communities, police try to work with the cities that host the festivals, maintaining a hands-off attitude.

Nevertheless, many of the festival attendees are young and away from home. Under typical circumstances they wouldn't have the opportunity to drink this much, this often.

Below are a number of tweets about the horrifying SXSW crash.