Student’s death after Wireless music festival ‘destroyed us all’
Friends devastated by ecstasy overdose at Finsbury Park event
21 December, 2018 — By Emily Finch
The Wireless music festival in Finsbury Park
FRIENDS of a university student who died after collapsing from an MDMA overdose at the Wireless music festival in Finsbury Park spoke of their “heartbreak” during an inquest into her death.
Deenah Randhawa, a 20-year-old studying at Aston University, had travelled to London with her friends for the festival in July.
She had attended the last day of the festival on the Sunday, which was headlined by US musician Drake.
St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday she was found unresponsive and was treated in the “resuscitation area” by medics employed by festival organiser Live Nation. She was later transferred to Whittington Hospital, where she died a day later.
Pavan Singh, from Wolverhampton, said he had gone to the festival with Ms Randhawa, but she went missing after taking MDMA.
He told the inquest: “The upsetting thing is, it destroyed us all. All of our hearts were breaking.”
Mr Singh described getting a “light touch on entry” from security at the gates to the festival. He said that Ms Randhawa, who had been dancing with him, said “she felt amazing”.
He added: “It was the first time we had gone to a concert. In other words, it was our first rave.”
He told the inquest he did not take any MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Ms Randhawa had not “mentioned anything about the pill”.
“Before I knew it she went missing,” he said.
Another friend, Rhianna Mehra, said she did not think it was the first time Ms Randhawa had taken MDMA.
Ms Mehra described seeing Ms Randhawa put something in her mouth. When asked where it was from, she said: “Some guy dropped it off”.
Ms Randhawa was later found by a festival-goer, who saw her “slowly falling to the ground”. In harrowing statement, read out to the inquest, Zaid Hasan said he was “in pieces” after his encounter with Ms Randhawa.
He said she started having a seizure once she fell to the ground. Festival security workers quickly called medics.
“It upset me that I might be the last person she saw and acknowledged,” he said.
A toxicologist report read out by coroner Mary Hassell said there was a high level of MDMA in Ms Randhawa’s blood. An analysed strand of hair showed she had taken MDMA in the months before the festival.
Ms Hassell said: “Deena, like many other young people her age, was taking MDMA recreationally, but took too much of it.
“Why she took too much, there are several explanations. It could have been there was more than she had taken before or it could have been simply there was more of the drug in the pill that she took.”
No one from Live Nation or Haringey Council, which manages Finsbury Park, was called to make a statement at the inquest.