Famous DJ performs charity gig in memory of 19-year-old from Ashby

World renowned Drum & Bass DJ Hedex is performing at an Ashby rave in memory of a 19-year-old who died of a brain tumour.

Dan Cracknell was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour in January last year. He died at Rainbows 11 weeks later, on Valentine’s Day.

As a tribute to Dan, and to raise funds for our charity, a rave will be held at Ciros Nightclub, Ashby, on Friday 19 April. His favourite DJ, and friend, Hedex, will be performing alongside other DJs.

“Drum and Bass was Dan’s life,” said his mum Francesca Brierley. “He loved to party and he was always out at a rave.”

Dan had been suffering from severe headaches and vomiting for a few weeks in the run up to his diagnosis. “He had lost so much weight and I was so worried, I knew deep down it was never going to be good,” said Francesca. “Once we got the diagnosis, everything seemed to happen so quickly, and Dan underwent three major surgeries in less than two weeks. After the last one, he was unresponsive for two weeks.

“As the cancer became more aggressive, I knew Dan was suffering. But never once did you hear him moan. He didn’t cry in front of me as he wanted to protect me.

“I also wanted to protect him. I had Dan when I was 17 and he made me who I am. I don’t actually know a life without him and now I need to try and find myself.”

Dan was referred to our hospice in January 2023 for end of life care. “Rainbows was just an incredible place for us,” said Francesca. “Initially I dreaded going as I knew that meant no more hope and that he was going to die. We didn’t get to spend years visiting the hospice but what everyone did in that little time made a massive difference to us.

“We had almost three weeks at Rainbows and we had really good times. And the staff were so amazing that they made it bearable. Dan really got to know the staff and had great banter with them. The tumour was affecting the way he thought and spoke but at Rainbows, you got glimpses of the old Dan, when he was laughing and joking.

“Dan was a proper character. He was just brilliant. He loved to do his make up, and the staff at the hospice helped him with that.

“At Rainbows, it was all of the little things that meant such a lot. And it really felt like we were family.

“As well as the upcoming rave, my close friend has been raising funds for Rainbows through raffles. The support that myself, my partner, Paul and my daughter, Lily (15), have received from Rainbows, and still are receiving is just incredible.

“We want to raise as much money and awareness as we can and we hope people will support us.”

Tickets for the rave, which will have a whole line-up of local DJs along with fire breathers, stilt walkers and face painters, are available from Ciros Nightclub on 01530 412780 and are £20.