David Bowie-style cremations boom on star's anniversary amid cost of living crisis

The rise in direct cremations

In the past year, the number of David Bowie fans choosing cremation with no service or flowers has doubled.

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UK-based Funeral Plan Market, the largest funeral plan comparison site, published data that shows eight in ten people (79%) are opting for direct cremation- almost double the number from 2020.

Direct Cremations are unattended events where the deceased is cremated without a service. Also, the remains are returned to a family member or scattered in the gardens at the crematorium.

David Bowie's unexpected legacy

Direct cremations first came to attention in January 2016 when David Bowie was privately cremated with no friends or family present.

January 8th would have marked the star's 75th birthday and long-held history of influential rock music.

David Bowie had a secret cremation (photo: shutterstock)

Since then, this trend has gone mainstream. People decide to spend more money on their family while alive than have an elaborate funeral.

Last year, traditional funerals with a corˈtège fell out of favour during lockdown as government restrictions necessitated smaller funerals.

A cost of living crisis and a ‘seize the day’ mentality created by the pandemic also contributed to a retreat from lavish send-offs.

Direct cremations start at around £999, around half the price of a horse drawn carriage affair.

Sally Howarth, Founder of Funeral Plan Market commented: "The number of people opting for a direct cremation when they took out a funeral plan in 2021 has doubled compared to the previous year.

“Yes, a percentage of our customers will doubtless be feeling the cost of living squeeze. However, the pandemic has been a wake-up call about the importance of enjoying life while it lasts."