Across the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps no industry has been hit harder than music and entertainment.
Venues have been forced to close their doors to crowds, cutting off their main source of income, while musicians have been left without an outlet to showcase their craft live.
While popular Ballarat music venues like The Eastern Hotel and Volta still have little idea when they will be able to welcome audiences back through their doors, they are set for a small taste of normality in the coming weeks.
As part of the Be Kind Be Creative initiative through the City of Ballarat, the venues are set to host Sanitise, a pair of live, online concerts featuring some of the region's fastest rising musical acts.
Volta's Lachie Anderson told The Courier the idea for the event came out of general conversation with Matt Stone from The Eastern as they looked for ideas surrounding things to do during the pandemic.
"We were just having some general conversations with people from The Eastern about how things were going and we both floated the idea of potentially streaming," he said.
"I knew the council were toying with some ideas on how to help venues and local musicians during the pandemic so it was a perfect fit."
He added helping local artists and bands get exposure during this time where they are unable to play gigs was the main driving force behind the concept.
"The main reason we wanted to get this off the ground was to get people playing again.
"We knew the bands would be excited but we were also really excited for the opportunity to put on an event like this... we just wanted to do something that showed support for the local music scene."
Using this concept and streaming it online, people from anywhere can see what these artists have to offer.Volta's Lachie Anderson
These sentiments were echoed by Mr Stone.
"These bands need exposure and if we can do something to help them get out there during this time that's huge," he said.
One of the bands set to be featured in one of the nights of live music is Snake Valley, a five piece garage rock group which, like all musicians, saw their upcoming gigs pulled out from under them because of the pandemic.
Vocalist Matt Martin said it was very difficult to have the bands upcoming performances cancelled and feared the extended break from live music may stun the group's momentum.
"We've obviously lost a few gigs which has hurt for us," he said.
"Recently we had gained some momentum down in the Melbourne music scene which we really want to keep rolling. Through January and February we were playing shows non stop, packing out venues all around the state.
"We're trying our best to keep people who may have discovered our music in the loop and about what we're doing."
The band has been doing its best to stay productive during this time, focusing all its energy into recording new music from home and releasing an album later this year.
"The time at home has allowed us to focus on putting out more music," Mr Martin continued.
"It has been hard, obviously not being able to all catch up together can create some difficulties, especially when you want everyone's voice to be heard. Communication has been key for us.
"Our band mate Lachie Reynolds has been producing the album from his home studio, so to be able to listen to all the mixes and masters has been great. It's sounding really good which feels awesome."
Snake Valley, who's new single "Bush Pig" is to be released this Friday, is just one of 17 different local artists set to perform over the two nights.
The first showcase will be streamed from The Eastern on Friday, May 29 while the second will take place from Volta on Friday, June 5. Both showcases will run from 6.30pm until 9pm.
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