Music-loving dad whose ashes were fired into festival crowd took own life

Stuart Mitchell whose life was celebrated at the Creamfields music festival.

Stuart Mitchell whose life was celebrated at the Creamfields music festival. - Credit: Family handout

A Norfolk dad whose ashes were fired from a confetti cannon at a music festival took his own life, an inquest has heard.

Stuart Mitchell, 30, was discovered dead by his father on July 9 last year after work colleagues raised concerns that he had not been seen for a number of days.  

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court was told the IT support worker, who left behind a three-year-old son, had suffered from depression following the breakdown of his relationship.

Although he had seen his GP on a number of occasions he may have hidden suicidal thoughts, said Norfolk assistant coroner Catherine Wood.

“During consultations, it was clear he was keen to impress on his doctor that he didn’t have any suicidal ideations,” she said. 

“The reason for that may have been because he was keen to make sure that didn’t impact on his access to his son. 

“He didn’t want that to be known and therefore may not have been honest with his GP about how he was feeling.”

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He was found dead while family members who he was living with in Thetford were away on a holiday in Wales. 

His cause of death was given as asphyxiation. Toxicology tests found no evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system.

Banner at Creamfields

Banners bearing a message for Mr Mitchell were taken to the music festival. - Credit: Ryan Millen

Recording a verdict of suicide, Ms Wood said: “I’m satisfied that he took his own life however in relation to his intention we don’t have a specific note that was found at the scene. 

“But given the background history, the way he was with father, assigning him his legacy contacts on Facebook, and waiting until the family were away it would indicate that there was some planning.”  

Mr Mitchell’s life was celebrated with an "unforgettable tribute" after his family sold his tickets to Creamfields to help fund his funeral.

Note to scatter ashes at Creamfields

Stuart Mitchell's father asked the cousins who brought his Creamfields tickets to scatter a handful of his son's ashes at the festival site. - Credit: Ryan Millen

They asked the buyers, cousins Ryan and Liam Millen, to scatter some of his ashes so he could attend the dance music event one last time.

Instead, organisers of the Cheshire festival suggested firing the ashes out during superstar DJ Tiësto’s headline set in front of 70,000 fans.

Mr Mitchell's sister Laura said the surprise gesture had been "amazing and overwhelming".

• If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 1963494 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.