Key players in the Ballarat music scene say despite the close of one iconic venue, now is the time for optimism and realigning the city's priorities.
When the City of Ballarat's Live Music Strategic Plan 2016-2021 was first created, it noted the 'intimate original music venues' of Karova Lounge, Babushka Lounge, The Eastern and Sutton's House of Music.
Of the four named, only The Eastern will remain by Sunday. Ballarat is not the only town which has struggled with the closure of iconic venues, with Warrnambool losing The Loft in recent weeks.
The Courier understands Karova Lounge's lease is up for grabs, with potential owners signaling their desire to keep live music in the space to the industry body.
Music Victoria's CEO Patrick Donovan said a live music venue has to be a sustainable business, and that comes down to audiences, whose "needs have sort of changed quite a bit over the last five or 10 years".
"For example, festivals are so popular in the regions these days, that young people's first live music experience is a a festival," he said.
"So their expectations of a live music experience is quite dynamic and diverse; they're used to seeing a folk artist and a rock band and DJ, and hang out with their friends. So the idea of seeing three bands in similar styles, hour-long sets, might not be what young people desire."
Mr Donovan pointed to the Spilt Milk and the associated Fringe Benefits events, and said Gen-X parents might also be looking for venues like The Eastern, where you can take the kids along and still see live music.
Karova Lounge's owner Gary Wilson said he was confident about the city's live music scene "moving forward", despite this being the end of a publican's era for him in Ballarat.
"I think live music will continue in the town and still prosper and still have a strong focus," he said. "It's been great to see young bands come through and become bigger bands ... the experience we've been able to provide to people in Ballarat for so long has been the pleasure I get out of it."
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said more than ever, live music was at the "forefront of our consideration", and the council's music strategy was "a document written of its time".
"We've invested heavily in designing free education and training materials for musicians and venues ... to ensure sustainability of venues and performers alike."