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Dozens remain stranded at festival site in Panama

The festival ended on 15th March

Between 30 and 50 festivalgoers are still stranded on the site of Tribal Gathering festival in Panama.

The festival, which organisers refer to as “paradise on Earth”, was scheduled to take place from 29th February to 15th March. On 12th March, due to escalating concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Panama announced a national emergency, and Tribal Gathering was put on lockdown.

Attendees of the festival were told that they would be required to stay on site until at least 23rd March, which meant that many attendees missed their flights out of the country.  While many managed to organise new flights and leave the country after the initial quarantine, many have remained stranded due to flight shortages and cancellations, or strained communication with embassies. 

A suspension on all entry or departure from Panama was implemented at the end of March. As of last week, the ban on international travel in and out of the country was extended by 30 days, meaning Tribal Gathering’s remaining attendees may be trapped on the beach until the end of May. 

Extended bouts of pouring rain, sewage issues and heavy winds have made life at the makeshift campsite far from the idyllic paradise it claimed to be, and uncertainty is rife. 

Vice has made a short documentary about those stuck at Tribal Gathering, while The Guardian spoke to some stranded British attendees for a recent feature