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Music

Funds raised for terminally ill music lover to enter Glastonbury via helicopter

Friends of a terminally ill music lover are raising funds to grant him his dying wish to fly into Glastonbury festival via helicopter from the hospital.

Nigel Stonehouse, 58, a former bricklayer from Hartlepool, has frequented the festival with friends over the past 30 years. He had been due to attend the festival this week but couldn’t travel without medical support. Sadly, Mr Stonehouse was diagnosed with kidney cancer in mid-May which has now incurably spread to his lungs. 

In response, his close friends have started a fundraiser to pay for a helicopter to fly him there from North Tees hospital. The costs would cover medical support while in transit and during the visit. 

Mr Stonehouse’s close friend, Lizzie Beggs, said it was his “dying wish” to be with all of his friends at Glastonbury, “even if only for a few hours for one last time”. She explained that he is currently an inpatient at North Tees hospital and that staff have assured him that they will do all they can to make this happen.

Ms Beggs added: “Within hours, they had contacted site managers at the festival who advised that they would facilitate in ways that they can.”

“Unfortunately, there is no space left in the accessible areas – Nige has a general sale ticket – but they will facilitate entry via the accessible car park. This is obviously a huge undertaking and will be costly; the palliative care team suggested commissioning a helicopter – the first quote we have had is for £12,000.”

By last Sunday, the fundraiser had reached its initial target of £12,000 and continued to rise, exceeding £15,000 by Monday afternoon. The fundraiser has naturally garnered heavy media attention over the past week, and the news has also reached the hearts of music stars. 

Among those involved is Fatboy Slim, who is performing at the festival this year. The acclaimed DJ and producer has shown his support for the cause on social media, urging his followers to follow suit. 

Mr Stonehouse’s friends have said he is “very stubborn and determined” despite his illness and is looking forward, especially, to seeing Diana Ross this year.

You can donate toward Mr Stonehouse’s fundraiser here.