'Hippie festival' to relocate once more
Following a Health Board ban of the initial camp site of the Rainbow Gathering 'hippie' festival in Antsla, Võru County, the festival moved to Hargla, Valga County where a makeshift camp was set up in a state forest growing area, leading to the gathering having to relocate a third time to a camping area near Koiva River, near the border of Latvia.
The festival-goers did not gain approval from the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) to set up camp near Hargla, Valga County, which is why the gathering was directed by the Environmental Inspectorate (Keskkonnainspektsioon) to relocate.
The camp will now be set up on the Estonian side of the Latvian border, at Taheva, Valga County.
Valga County chief forester Risto Sepp said the camp was not located on an RMK approved camp site and no prior agreement had been made.
Sepp said: "We turned to the campers and offered up many alternative locations." He added that disbanding the camp was not the goal and they are more than happy to find a solution.
On July 17, the representatives of Antsla Municipality, the Health Board (Terviseamet), the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and other authorities met in connection to a month-long 'hippie' festival. The municipality was given the recommendation to cancel the festival in the light of social distancing considerations.
The Health Board decided to ban the European Rainbow Gathering event held in Antsla, set to run a whole month, from July 20 to August 19 due to the threat of coronavirus and inadequate cleaning facilities.
Rainbow Gathering is an annual event, where people congregate in remote forests around the world for one or more weeks at a time with the stated intention of living a shared ideology of peace, harmony, freedom, and respect.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste