With so many of the world’s top festivals calling off their 2020 iterations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one of the motherloads is facing an untimely crisis as well. The Global Eclipse Gathering in Patagonia, which is currently set to kick off December 14, 2020 in Argentina, is currently facing uncertain times. Festival organizers recently released a statement telling attendees who previously bought tickets that their “future remains unsettled.”
“The last few months have been unlike any time in recent memory filled with uncertainty, confusion, and social unrest. It was our hope to be able to provide some definitive answers in this update however at this juncture, our future remains unsettled,” says organizers in a post that raises more questions than answers.”
Immediately, attendees were up in arms over the announcement, voicing concerns that ranged from the need to cancel due to public safety, to outrage over possible non-refunds,, to sympathy for the independent organizers who may go bankrupt for things outside of their control. While organizers still have no definitive answers, they did state that they are taking things day-by-day with local officials in Argentina.
“We continue to engage with officials at the local, provincial, and national levels to see how best to proceed with Patagonia Gathering and press for guidelines that will help create a safe environment to witness the solar eclipse of December 2020,” they continued.
Organizers are exploring the creation of a Coronavirus Relief Fund to allow people a chance to withdraw from their participation in Patagonia. In addition, organizers have also put out a survey to Spectacle Pass holders in order to see how many have an interest in disengaging from the event. “While this may be a scary step,” they say, “we believe it is appropriate during these unprecedented times to at least explore these options.”
For those who attended the life-changing Oregon Eclipse Gathering back in 2017, the news comes with as much anxiety as uncertainty over a global phenomenon that only comes around once every four years. It’s not as if an event of this scale and magnitude can simply reschedule for the following year, like Lightning in a Bottle or Coachella, especially given how the next total solar eclipse will take place in a completely different hemisphere of the world.
In 2024, the line of totality is plotted to go through central Mexico, all major cities in Texas, Arkansas, northern Ohio, upstate New York, and parts of Maine and Montreal, Canada.