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Live business mourns the Prodigy’s Keith Flint

The future of the Prodigy’s live career is unclear following the death of their longtime frontman, Keith Flint, earlier today.

Flint, 49, was found at his home in Great Dunnow, Essex, this morning, after police became concerned for the singer’s welfare. Prodigy bandmate Liam Howlett later revealed Flint had taken his own life.

Flint’s death brings to an end a nearly 30-year career as the Prodigy’s charismatic frontman, originally as a dancer, then, from 1996’s the Fat of the Land – which spawned two number-one singles, in the form of ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ – onwards,  as the band’s main vocalist.

Born in 1969 in Redbridge, east London, Flint moved to Braintree, in neighbouring Essex, as a teenager. He met Howlett at a rave in Braintree in 1989, and joined forces with him professionally shortly after, with Flint and dancer friend Leeroy Thornhill providing Howlett’s music with a visual focal point on stage.

Following the critically acclaimed Experience (1992) and Music for the Jilted Generation (1994) – which, alongside releases by the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, helped usher in the rise of the big beat genre of electronic music in the UK – the Keith Flint-fronted Prodigy went stratospheric in 1996–97, supporting Oasis at their legendary Knebworth shows and headlining Glastonbury 1997.

Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis describes their performance at Glasto – the first dance act to headline the festival – as a “huge, unforgettable moment”:

The band went on unofficial hiatus until 2004, when they released their fourth studio album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, and resumed touring in earnest.

The Prodigy recently returned from Australia, where their No Tourists arena tour played venues in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with a US leg planned for May and a string of European festival dates after.

Several festival promoters tell IQ it is unclear whether the band will fulfil their touring obligations as a tribute to Flint (according to Eavis, the Prodigy were also booked for Glastonbury 2019). A statement from Finland’s Provinssi, where the Prodigy are booked to perform in June, says it is unable to comment until it receives more information from the band and their representatives; events including Estéreo Picnic in Colombia, Snowbombing in Austria, Doctor Music Festival in Spain, SW4 in the UK and Pstereo in Norway have expressed similar sentiments.

The group, and Flint in particular, were especially popular in the Balkans and eastern Europe. A statement from Serbia’s Exit festival, where the Prodigy were almost a house band, says: “We lost a dear friend today and it is not easy to describe how this news was taken, not just in Exit, but in Serbia and the Balkans in general. There is simply so much history between us to even begin telling it.

“Keith was a true pioneer, innovator and a legend. He was one of us, a dance warrior who made so many feel energised and powerful. His chanting in ‘Firestarter’ gave us the strength when we needed it the most. Unfortunately, he also needed it as much as any of us, and we hope this tragic news will help us realise how much we all need to be there for one another.”

A statement from the band simply thanks fans for “respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time”.

“I’m shell-shocked, fucking angry, confused and heartbroken,” adds Howlett, in an emotional tribute to his bandmate posted on the band’s Instagram account.

“RIP, brother Liam.”


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Updated: The Prodigy’s Keith Flint passes aged 49

Update: In a statement posted to Instagram just after noon, Liam Howlett reveals Flint took his own life.

“I’m shell-shocked, fucking angry, confused and heartbroken,” he writes. “RIP, brother Liam.”


Keith Flint, frontman for the Prodigy, has died aged 49.

Flint – who became the face of the British electronic music pioneers during their ’90s heyday, and sung on both of the band’s number-one singles, 1996’s ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ – was found at his home in Dunmow, Essex, at around 8am this morning (4 March), according to Essex Police. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

“We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, [Dunmow], just after 8.10am on Monday, March 4,” an Essex Police spokesperson tells the NME. “We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.”

Flint had recently returned from a Prodigy tour of Australia with bandmates Liam Howlett and Maxim. A US tour is due to begin in May, following festival dates at Estereo in Bogota and Snowbombing in Austria.

More follows…


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NorthSide 2017 sells out in record time

Danish festival Northside has sold out seven weeks in advance for the first time in its eight-year history.

Booker John Fogde, who in December told IQ tickets were selling “historically well” amid a ‘crazily’ good time for live music in Denmark, says the record-fast sell-out is “even more impressive considering this year’s edition will be the largest in the history of NorthSide, with 40,000 guests attending each day”.

NorthSide 2017, which returns to the Ådalen river valley, near the city of Aarhus, from 9 to 11 June, is headlined by Radiohead, Frank Ocean and The Prodigy, with The 1975, Bastille, James Blake, Richard Ashcroft, Run the Jewels and 2manydjs also on the bill.

“We are thrilled and very proud that so many people would choose to spend their weekend with us at NorthSide… It is amazing our new direction has been received so positively”

“We are thrilled and very proud that so many people would choose to spend their weekend with us at NorthSide,” comments Fogde. “We have deliberately expanded this year both in relation to the music budget, which has allowed us to hire big acts like Radiohead and Frank Ocean, and also the rest of the content, which will get an extra boost with the introduction of a new area on the festival site.

“It is amazing that this new direction has been received so positively and that so many people are looking forward to NorthSide as much as we are.”


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Exit launches Croatian festival Sea Star

Serbia’s Exit will launch its first event in Croatia in 2017, headlined by The Prodigy.

Beach festival Sea Star will run from 26 to 27 May at the Stella Maris resort in Umag, joining Exit festival proper, Revolution in Romania and Sea Dance in Montenegro in the promoter’s festival portfolio. Local acts Dubioza kolektiv and Urban&4 will also perform, with more acts due to be announced nearer the time.

The festival will kick off Exit’s ‘Summer of Love 2017’, celebrating 50 years since the original in 1967, a theme that will run across all four events.

‘1 ticket = 4 festivals’ offers early buyers of an Exit festival ticket complimentary entry to one of its three other events

To tie them together, Exit has introduced the “biggest holiday offer in its history”: Dubbed ‘1 ticket = 4 festivals’, the deal offers early buyers of an Exit festival ticket (priced at €99) complimentary entry to one of the three other events. Registration opens 1 February.

The first Croatia Music Event was held in London in June, with panellists concluding a lack of beds and direct flights is hurting the Croatian festival scene. “Currently the travel options into Croatia are still limited, as are the accommodation options once in the country,” said Hideout Festival’s Mark Newton. “It is still a struggle for UK customers to find affordable flights into the country – something that can only change with support from the top.”


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