Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Watch a documentary about the festivalgoers trapped in Panama due to COVID-19 lockdowns

Illustration for article titled Watch a documentary about the festivalgoers trapped in Panama due to COVID-19 lockdowns
Screenshot: Vice UK (YouTube)

Unlucky souls around the world are trapped far from home due to the COVID-19 crisis and the global quarantines instituted to help contain the virus. For some, that means being locked in a stuffy hotel room. For others, it’s being confined to an oceanfront beach some might describe as paradise.

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The latter was certainly the case for those attending this year’s Tribal Gathering Festival in Panama, which, just before the event wrapped up in mid-March, saw its grounds placed under quarantine. No matter; the festival is, according to the below Vice documentary, “a temporary paradise where people from Western cities could learn from indigenous communities how to rebalance society and live in symbiosis with the earth.” What better way for those in attendance to put what they learned into practice than a mandated lockdown?

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That was certainly the attitude amongst several attendees in the first days of the lockdown, with a number of sun-dappled, sand-dusted souls promising to keep “hugging Mother Earth” and “reconnecting” with their “spiritual selves.” One attendee encourages the quarantined masses to save the trees being eroded by “ocean acidification and rising seas.” For many, though, the communal spirit quickly dissipated after they realized they’d either have to keep paying for food or start working for it. Throw in the local military, a lack of transparency, and a dwindling supply of hallucinogens and you’ve got a whole slew of hippies who’d really like to return to their London lofts.

Not entirely, though. The documentary reveals that some “true believers” are making the best of the beach, carving out a tribe of their own while running around naked with dogs. According to The Guardian, others are waiting for the British Embassy to get its shit together to help get them home, though efforts aren’t going so hot. Recently, Panama’s flight ban was extended until May 22 and sewage issues abound.

Watch the full documentary below.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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