Dozens of attendees and workers are still stranded at the site of Panama’s Tribal Gathering Festival, over a month after coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
The festival was initially held between February 29th and March 15th at a beach on the north coast of Panama. The festival was put on lockdown for a minimum of eight days on March 15th after Panama declared a state of emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This state of emergency resulted in many festivalgoers either missing their flights, or having their flights cancelled. Whilst some were fortunate enough to be able to re-book flights out of Panama, those who weren’t were left stranded on the Tribal Gathering site.
As Vice report, as of April 27th, upwards of 40 people are still stranded at the gathering site. Those on the grounds have been able to secure food and medical supplies from locals, but the lack of sewerage and access to mental healthcare is proving to be an issue.
“It rained nonstop for a few days. There was no sewage system and disgusting water was pouring everywhere,” Peter Grant, a festival volunteer, told the Guardian. “Not only that, a few people have mental health issues and they started really struggling.
American and British attendees also say they’ve received little assistance from their respective embassies. “They just kept giving us the same options every time, saying ‘hold tight’ or giving us expensive hotel options in Panama City with no means of getting there. And there were no options for flights home,” Grant explained.
Last week, Panama announced that the flight ban was to be extended until May 22.
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Vice has published a mini-documentary that provides footage shot inside the festival site as the lockdown was implemented, you can watch it below.