Update (4/26): A new report from Vice shows how the situation at Tribal Gathering Festival has escalated along with the development of COVID-19. In a new video, the Vice documentary team shows how the festival, and its attendees, continued to react as the situation in Panama, and around the world, became more serious. What seemed to many, at first, like an extended vacation slowly turns into a nightmare as days turn into weeks and now over a month that they have been forced to stay at the festival grounds with limited resources.

Most of the over 300 attendees have been able to return home, after significant prodding of their home embassies, with some still forced to remain in Panama City for the time being. Many of Tribal Gathering’s staff and crew, however, remain onsite and are still unable to leave nearly a month later. The fate of those people, and when they will be able to return home, is still very much up in the air.

Watch the Vice update on Tribal Gathering below.

Vice – “From Paradise to Hell: Trapped at a Music Festival Because of COVID-19

[Video: VICE]

There comes a point for most music fans who routinely visit music festivals every summer, when he or she is so caught up in the moment of the communal concert experience, where they may think to themselves or say to a friend, “Ugh, I wish this experience never had to end!” Well, that seems to be the serious reality for roughly 300 attendees at the Tribal Gathering Festival who are being forced to stay at the event grounds against their will in Colón, Panama by city officials as global travel continues its gradual shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report shared by Vice, emergency laws set into motion by Panama Health Minister Rosario Turner, last Friday (two days before the dance-focused music festival ended) forced festival attendees and workers to remain on site until March 23rd.

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The report states that Panama border police have surrounded the festival property, physically containing the people who didn’t leave in time and, more seriously, leaving them to figure out the distribution of supplies like food with the limited amount they have remaining. According to local citizens, the Panamanian government is not providing any assistance. To add to the seriousness, the Red Cross, which was contracted by the festival to provide first aid on-site, also has since left.

Numerous attendees have also been separated from their friends after attempting to leave the festival grounds in different shuttles, as some of the vehicles were turned back by police while others got out. Some Colón locals have voluntarily remained on-site to help with security and any logistics that could help the situation in any way they can.

“They’ve just left us here to linger,” Colón local and Spanish national Luu Carretero Sierra added. “But we’ve experienced massive solidarity from the locals at this crazy time. We’re hoping the food truck will last over a week.”

Unfortunately for Sierra, the Spanish embassy in Panama has not responded to her frequent calls for help.

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DJ Chris Williams managed to get away while there was still time. The artist mentioned, “I escaped on a local chicken bus with a bunch of hippies to avoid roadblocks looking for foreigners at the festival just before the curfew kicked in.”

Looking on the bright side of things, one of the bars on site remains open, where fans can enjoy music from a small sound system, which is still pumping out audio. Additionally, much of the festival’s amenities, such as daily workshops, holistic therapies, and a nightly cinema, are all still available to keep spirits up. The people stranded also have access to food, which they can earn by volunteering if they’ve run out of cash. More food was delivered Tuesday, thanks to a local supplier.

Godspeed, fellow music fans.

[H/T Vice]