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Rave legend and Fantazia co-founder Gideon Dawson died from a drug overdose

Written by on 23rd October 2019

Rave legend and Fantazia co-founder Gideon Dawson died from a drug overdose

The inquest into the death of Gideon Dawson has heard the legendary rave promoter died from health complications caused by taking a cocktail of drugs, including morphine he was prescribed after breaking multiple ribs.

Dawson, who co-founded the Fantazia raves in the early 90s, was found dead aged 51 in his home in Cheltenham on April 14 this year.

in 1992, Fantazia threw the biggest outdoor rave at Castle Donnington, with police estimates placing close to 30,000 people in attendance.

Assistant Gloucestershire Coroner Roland Wooderson said: “His partner said that he had drunk half a bottle of vodka and snorted half a gram of cocaine beforehand and she later found him lying half on the sofa and half on the floor in the living room, blue and not breathing.

“She called an ambulance and commenced CPR but it was too late.

“The deceased had a history of drug abuse and had been using illicit substances for some time. My conclusion is that this was a drug-related death.”

Gideon’s sister Heidi Dawson paid tribute to her brother after the hearing, saying: “He was the man behind the very beginning of the dance scene.”

She also said: “Gideon was one of the founders and creators of Fantazia. They created dance parties back in the early 90s for crowds of 30,000 to 40,000 people.

“He then went into creating dance music CDs – the world’s first dance music CDs before Ministry of Sound. They all went platinum – selling more than 300,000 each.

“The DJs who mixed the CDs were some of the biggest names in today’s dance music – Seb Fontaine, Judge Jules, Joey Vasquez, Tony De Vit, Norman Jay MBE, Sonique, John Kelly and many more.

“He even went on to star in an episode of Inspector Morse – he and the rest of the Fantazia dancegoers were in an episode about the rave scene.

“Gideon was a very-loved person. He had a compassionate nature and was very entertaining. He was a legend within dance music.”

Watch the Danny Boyle-directed Inspector Morse scene below.

Reader's opinions
  1. Ella Lustrum   On   3rd July 2021 at 10:18 am

    Breaks my heart, I was 11 in 1992 and had The First Taste and Twice as Nice CD’s. I listened to dance music and was just getting into music playing bass guitar, which a lot of Rave music can be played exact as on. I was kicked around at school by so called Ravers, that wound up destroying my family and leaving school years that accounted in two decades of trauma. I only listen to The First Taste and Twice as Nice because of it all. What the rave scene was about, was not abuse. God bless Gideon, amazing work, wish you where here….

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