A 16-year-old boy has died after reportedly taking “a grey or black oblong shape” ecstasy tablet and falling ill at Leeds Festival over the weekend.
West Yorkshire police were called to Leeds Festival on Saturday night (August 27) at around 10.16pm and were informed that after falling ill, David Celino had been taken to a medical tent.
Celino was taken to hospital but died early on Sunday (August 28).
Officers have launched an investigation into the teenager’s suspected drug-related death. Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said in a statement: “While the exact cause of his death is yet to be established, one line of enquiry is that he had taken a particular type of ecstasy (MDMA) tablet, which was described as a grey or black oblong shape.
“We are continuing to conduct enquiries on site and are liaising closely with the event organisers.”
Police have urged anyone who feels ill after consuming any substance at the festival to urgently seek medical attention.
Celino’s family have since made a public tribute [via BBC News], describing him as a “beautiful, fiercely independent and warm character”.
The teenager from Worsley in Greater Manchester had just received “fabulous” GCSE results and had a bright future ahead of him.
“Our David was a beautiful, fiercely independent and warm character who lived every day at 110 per cent and who loved to spend time enjoying music with his friends,” his family said in a statement.
“He had just received fabulous GCSE results, got into college, and had hoped to study computer science at a top university.
“Leeds Festival was the highlight of his summer – ultimately it was to take his life in the most unfair, cruel and horrible way, and we are broken.”
“This festival does not condone the use of drugs,” a web statement outlining their drugs policy read. “It is illegal to buy, sell or take drugs. Drugs enforcement laws are as applicable on-site as anywhere else in the UK.
“We want our festivalgoers to know above all else that we are here to help and you can come to us for help without fear of getting in trouble.”
The policy included an ecstasy specific portion, highlighting the rise of deaths related to the drug. “Ecstasy deaths appear to be rising year on year,” Reading’s website reads. “There appears to be a link with the amount of MDMA found in tablets more recently.
“Your body weight, hormone levels, using other drugs or alcohol, and your underlying health can all have a significant impact on how you react to a drug. Your friends might have taken the same drug and not had any ill effects. There is no safe dose.”