Content warning: This post deals with issues surrounding sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.
Dear The Eavis family, and all who make Glastonbury happen,
So I write a lot of letters, but I promise this one will be worth reading – stick with it. This isn’t complaining about the crowds or the headliners, or telling the world how life changing the week was for me to provoke envy inducing angry faces all over Facebook. This is a story about a girl who contacted a giant festival who cater for hundreds of thousands with a request for help and was met with compassion, love and overwhelming acts of kindness.
I was lucky enough to get tickets to Glastonbury for the first year ever, with a group of friends who were equally as excited as I was – WhatsApp groups sharing outfits and line up rumours sprung up within minutes of receiving the golden tickets, and June 2017 could not come soon enough.
Unfortunately for me, something horrible happened in April 2017, months before we were due to jump on the 2am coach down south. I was sexually assaulted by two of these ‘friends’ after a night where I had mistakenly put my drunken trust in these guys at an after-party. My memories of the night were hazy; the drunken texts with other friends to come and save me, coupled with the injuries I sustained were not.
At the crisis centre the next day, as I lay sobbing on the table being photographed and probed by four nurses, I received a barrage of phone calls and threats from certain friends telling me to go home, to not report it. Telling me that no it wasn’t consensual but ‘don’t ruin the group’ and ‘don’t ruin Glastonbury for us all.’ The nurses were asking me to report it to the police, but I was receiving 15 voicemails a day with threats from these friends, and with every threat received, another inch of my fight would disappear.
Eventually, the harassment got worse. I couldn’t turn my phone on without getting more. I blocked the numbers, the contacts on Facebook, the accounts on Instagram, but they’d find more ways to get to me. This is the point I went to the police.
After a harrowing three hour video interview, I still couldn’t feel relieved. I had taken time off work, I was barely surviving on two months worth of sick pay and I was receiving threats not to attend the festival that I had been looking forward to for months.
The police officer recommended I get in touch with the festival, and try and ask for a refund to help my money troubles. I was gutted, but we agreed for my own personal safety whilst investigations were ongoing, it was the best route to take.
I couldn’t find a number, nor an email to contact, so I filled out a 500-word enquiry form on the website, assuming that with a festival that size receiving hundreds of enquiries per day, my plead for support may get overlooked.
Instantly I received an email from an amazing human being – Marianna – who told me the Events Operations Lead would give me a call.