Back in August, we heard from the Global Eclipse Patagonia Gathering – scheduled (yep, apparently still scheduled) to occur on December 10-16, 2020 in Patagonia – that they’d only refund part of your ticket if you wanted a refund. Earlier this week, they followed up with another – honestly surprising – email about travel.
The short of it: you can try to travel to Argentina, and they can’t guarantee if you’ll actually get in, but if you gave them an intake form within 24 hours of their email sending, you just *might* have a chance of getting into the country.
First, let’s take a step back and revisit the fact that COVID-19 is spiking again, cases are skyrocketing, and this event is still happening. Take a look at the CDC’s case tracker – as of today, there are 152,000+ new cases in the U.S. over the last week. There are over 62.8 million cases globally, as reported by WHO. COVID isn’t going away anytime soon.
Then, here’s the kicker. If you head to the event website, the first chunk of text on the homepage reads:
THIS EVENT IS STILL HAPPENING. WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE IT A SAFE, ENJOYABLE, AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE FOR ALL. PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT COVID-19 AND MANDATORY TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS BELOW.
Is this a good idea? Nope. Is this safe? Nah (because let’s face it – even with “recommended” COVID protocols, people won’t always abide by the rules, especially when partying at an international festival). Is it even likely that those who decided to hold onto their tickets will even be able to make it there? Honestly, probably not.
That brings us to the latest email: this “URGENT” travel advisory that was sent this past Sunday. The full email reads:
A few of the highlights to point out here:
First: “…we have recently come across a potential opportunity to grant permission of entry to Argentina to travelers coming from countries not yet allowed into Argentina.”
Potential, as in no real guarantees. Great start.
Second: “Global Eclipse is not affiliated to this process nor can we determine the outcome of the decisions the Argentine government will make regarding granting this access to travelers who’s information we submit on their behalf.”
So realistically, you could take the gamble of traveling for an immense amount of hours around the globe (obviously dependent on where you come from, but regardless – a trip to Buenos Aires isn’t a quick hop and a jump for many of us) with the potential of getting turned around at the airport.
Third: timing. You were asked to submit a form – a Google Survey, at that – within 24 hours of the email being sent out. This email was sent on a Sunday afternoon of a holiday weekend. Now, I’m not doubting that this timeline was affected by the relationship they have with the local authorities in order to have these supposed applications considered, but 24 hours on a holiday weekend seems like quite an unrealistic timeframe for most.
And lastly: the closing line. This. The forewarning of the mess ahead, perhaps:
We look forward to seeing the myriad of faces that make it to The Spectacle against these crazy odds. What a motley crew we will be…
Consider whether this is really worth it, with so many questionable pieces about this event sitting up in the air. There have been no photos of the site, the infrastructure, or anything beyond these vague updates. And it’s downright irresponsible to throw a festival in the midst of a pandemic, no matter how many people are in attendance.
You can chase the eclipse in ways that don’t involve risking your life – and the lives of others –with potential COVID exposure. Make safe decisions. Wear a mask. And don’t risk your life for a party.
Feature Photo via the Gathering’s Facebook page