'It gives us somewhere to stop for a minute' - Glastonbury Festival's new sensory spaces

  • ITV News West Country explores the calm spaces at Glastonbury Festival 2024

As performances get underway at Glastonbury Festival, hundreds of thousands of people will be navigating Worthy Farm's stages to see their bucket list acts.

But for those looking to find a quiet moment amidst all the noise, a new sensory space has been introduced, to give festivalgoers a chance to unwind.

It was created by Bristol charity Diverse UK, and was built with people living with ADHD, autism, and those struggling with their mental health especially in mind.

The four rooms around the site have different textures, sounds and adjustable lighting, offering a safe space for anyone who feels overwhelmed and needs a break.

Weighted blankets and ear defenders are also available.

Diverse UK's Harry Jones says one tent was introduced in 2022, but this is the first time the festival has four of them.

She told ITV News West Country: "This kind of provision is vital. It's a reasonable adjustment that needs to be normalised because we live in a very stressful world - especially post-Covid.

"People who identify as being disabled in various ways have a lot more of a voice and are able to say these are the things that they need.

"It's perfectly reasonable to ask for some respite when things are too much.

"A lot of our team are either neurodivergent themselves or are a neurodivergent specialist.

"It's nice to provide a representation of people who are neurodivergent at festivals and say we are here, we are proud, we are strong and we've got this."

Festival-goers walking under a sign saying ‘Vote Out to Help Out’ at Glastonbury 2024 Credit: Yui Mok/PA

After coming out of the tent, ten-year-old Marnie said: "I love Glastonbury Festival, I've been here for six years now.

"It really really helps because sometimes I have really high levels of anxiety and when I feel like that, I just go here."

Marnie's mum Lisa added: "I also have another child in the sensory tent, she's six. It's really important to have that space, that darkness and it just gives us somewhere to stop for a minute."

Glastonbury's Welfare Centres also provide experienced, caring and confidential help for anyone who needs it.

The Festival Branch of Samaritans are also onsite offering 24-hour emotional support from the Green Fields.