A woman has written a heartfelt open letter to the organisers of Glastonbury after they helped her have an "amazing" time at this year's festival. Just a few months ago, Laura Whitehurst suffered a horrific ordeal - she claims she was sexually assaulted by two male friends who were part of the group she was planning to go to the festival with. In her blog post, she wrote: "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.**** June 2017 could not come soon enough."
Glastonbury 2018 cancelled - find out why
Sharing her experience, she explained: "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." The festival-goer thanked organisers for their kindness, and for making sure she was able to attend and enjoy Glastonbury - despite asking for a refund.
Festivalgoers at this year's Glastonbury
STORY: Ed Sheeran takes to Twitter to defend his Glastonbury performance
Laura claimed that her former friends sent threatening messages to not tell anyone as they wouldn't be able to attend the festival. She eventually decided to report the assault to the police, who advised her to get in touch with Glastonbury. Laura immediately received a reply by an organiser called Marianna, who passed on her details to Events Operation Lead, Adrian, an ex-police officer. She continued: "Instantly I received an email from an amazing human being - Marianna - who told me the Events Operations Lead would give me a call. I received a call off Adrian a few days later. Adrian is an ex police officer, and asked me to tell him what happened. It felt difficult disclosing the details over the phone to a stranger, but he made me feel at ease."
Thousands descended on Worthy Farm
Glastonbury organisers made sure Laura attended the festival and had as good a time as possible. They sent her a pass to the car park, a security guard met her and her friend Tom to make sure they were ushered into the festival swiftly. "At this point my anxiety was through the roof, I was looking over my shoulder frightened of catching glimpse of the perpetrator and their friends," she added. "Marianna noticed my worry, took my hand and walked us up to the security guard at the front of the queue. They had a quick chat and he ushered us right through, Marianna making sure she didn’t let go of me the whole time."
Your need-to-know guide and advice for festival season
The organisers also arranged for her to be given a letter stating that "the bearer of the letter must have her requests for her safety taken seriously and she must be taken to safety immediately". Laura ended her letter with a thank you to the organisers of the festival. "Not many people would be aware of the amazing work you did for me - you didn't do it so you could write about it, or get a pay rise, or for glory, you did it because you really cared," she wrote.