While the Rainbow Serpent Festival will not run at its traditional Lexton home across the January long weekend, community members remain optimistic.
The festival's site was damaged by bushfires in late December, with some infrastructure and artworks lost.
Pyrenees Shire mayor Tanya Kehoe said a multi-agency review this week found the festival could not be safely held, and patron safety could not be guaranteed.
HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW
"We share the Rainbow Serpent Festival's disappointment that the event could not be held, but are looking forward to working with them on the new-look Rainbow Serpent Festival 2020 and welcoming festival goers back to Lexton later in the year," she said in a statement.
The festival's organisers are arranging two replacement events, one in Melbourne on January 26 with artists booked to play at the festival, and a 'Regen' event in Lexton in April across the Easter long weekend.
That event will include a working bee, tree planting, and other community events.
As much as we all love the Rainbow Serpent Festival, the health and safety of patrons and crew is our number one priorityFestival organisers
They said in a statement the events would honour the spirit of the festival.
"It hasn't been an easy decision to know what is the right path forward - as much as we all love RSF, the health and safety of patrons and crew is our number one priority," the statement reads.
"We undertook a meeting and inspection on-site with the CFA, Victoria Police, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Pyrenees Council staff. Due to a number of safety concerns stemming from the fire that affected the site and the wider bushfire impacts across the country, it was agreed that holding RSF over the scheduled weekend in Lexton simply isn't the right thing to do.
"We ask everyone to please be sympathetic to the needs and wellbeing of the broader community at this time but also the incredible strain our crew are currently experiencing in trying to work towards an outcome that is acceptable, enjoyable and safe."
The five-day electronic music, art and lifestyle festival's thousands of attendees bring a much-needed economic boost to towns in the region, particularly Lexton and Beaufort.
Last year, there were dozens of smiling and dusty attendees politely asking for a glass of water and a space to charge their phone at Lexton's Pyrenees Hotel, while in Beaufort, the influx of visitors helps fund the community swimming pool.
Liza Robinson, the president of the Beaufort Progress Association, is confident the festival will "adjust".
"It's a big shock, but not necessarily unexpected," she said.
"Because of the current state of Victoria, in some respects it was inevitable."
Several events in Beaufort take place during the festival, greeting festivalgoers who take the train from Melbourne before jumping on a shuttle to the campgrounds.
Among them is a massive market, which Ms Robinson said would definitely still be going ahead this year.
"The Beaufort town market, that, for the last few years, coincided around the festival visitors - we've incorporated Rainbow, Australia Day, our connection to Vegemite, and a pool party - but this will change it again," she said.
"The Australia Day market will still go ahead, we're calling it the Midsummer Market."
Some small businesses will need to adjust with the festival, she said - for example, op-shops which have begun collecting colourful vintage clothing would still find many interested buyers at the April event.
The other big change for the town will be the opening of the Servo@23 gallery and art trail, which has been postponed.
The gallery, in an old service station, has been transformed thanks to the Progress Association and the Rainbow Arts and Culture Foundation, the festival's charitable arm.
Ms Robinson said the doors will open on the long weekend for residents to have a look inside, but the grand opening would now be at Easter, on April 9, to coincide with the festival.
"It's disappointing, because we were all excited, it was a couple of weeks away, but it's not devastating," she said.
"Our adjustments, in the big scale of things, are so minute in terms of what everyone's dealing with."
The change in date could be a positive thing long-term, she added.
"I think Easter's going to be a great time, the weather's going to be cooler," she said.
"I think it's going to be fantastic."
The Lexton-Ben Major Fire burned approximately 3000 hectares on December 20 and 21.
Pyrenees Shire Council will present its Recovery Implementation Plan at the Council Meeting on Tuesday January 21.
Festival organisers were phoned for comment.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.