Fans line streets for funeral of Prodigy star Keith Flint
Music fans have travelled from around the world to line the streets of Essex to mark the funeral of Prodigy star Keith Flint, with festival flags flying and music playing over loudspeakers outside the church.
The much-loved vocalist was found dead at his home in Essex on March 4 at the age of 49.
A post on the band’s official Twitter page invited fans to line the procession route and “raise the roof for Keef” ahead of the private service at St Mary’s Church in Bocking, Essex, on Friday.
Many of them gathered on a green between the church and the village pub, with crowd control barriers and portable toilets in place to accommodate the numbers.
Among them was 25-year-old Maria Lelicova, who flew in from Prague for the service and became tearful as she said “it’s the last time to have a connection, say goodbye”.
“I never had so strong connection with other bands as with The Prodigy and it’s really something unique and it’s part of my life,” she said.
“I have three Prodigy tattoos, I love Keith Flint since my childhood because when I was really, really baby I was scared of him.
“I always wanted to come here and visit him in his pub and stuff like this and you feel like you have a lot of time for it but now I’m here at the funeral.
“It’s kind of sad.”
Araks Azarian, 36, whose flight from Australia arrived on the morning of the funeral, said she made the journey as “I’ve been doing it for years, to see the boys, and this is going to be my last chance to do it.”
She returns to Sydney on Sunday night to get back to work.
Dennis Kuhne, 40, who flew in from Germany, said he wanted to “say goodbye to Keith”.
“I listened to them over 20 years,” he said.
“My first concert I think was in 1995 for the Jilted Generation tour.
“Since that time I follow the guys on almost every tour, festivals and everywhere they played in Germany.
“It’s a pleasure to be here.”
Carpenter Lewis Knowles, 31, travelled up from Calne in Wiltshire and said he recognised many faces from the front row of shows around the world.
“They were a big part of growing up, listening to The Prodigy, enjoying it, travelling all round Europe and the world watching them, so it felt right to come here and just try to enjoy the day and see people you bump into at the gigs,” he said.
Essex Police warned of delays in the area as the force is expecting a “large number of well-wishers” to attend the procession from Braintree to the church.
An inquest heard earlier this month that Flint died by hanging.
His bandmate Liam Howlett said in an earlier Instagram post that Flint “took his own life”.
The singer rose to fame in the Brit Award-winning electronic band in the 1990s and was known for hits including Firestarter and Breathe.
They released their latest album No Tourists in November, their seventh consecutive number one record.
He was described in a statement by Howlett and fellow bandmate Maxim as “a true pioneer, innovator and legend”.
They said Flint was their “brother and best friend” and “he will be forever missed”.
He had participated in the 5k Chelmsford Central parkrun on March 2, posting a personal best time of 21.22.
Following his death, The Prodigy cancelled all shows “with immediate effect”.