BALLARAT'S festival scene is set to return in the new year, with plans well advanced for Beer Fest to be held on February 20.
Organisers hope that the all-day festival, traditionally held at the North Gardens, will be able to proceed as normal, but if COVID regulations remain in place, there is a possibility tickets will be sold across two sessions.
Co-ordinator Ric Dexter said it had been a tough sell to get sponsors on board, with many having done it particularly tough this year.
"We just don't know what the rules are," Mr Dexter said.
"We've been holding off investing until we know where we stand.
"The way it works, there are three tiers, the first is for events over 5000 which have a number of protocols they need to address, then there is the 500-5000 events which are moderately difficult and then there are the less than 500 events which needs to forward a COVID-safe plan.
"We're in the 500-5000 range, so it's moderately difficult, but at this stage, we just don't know what that will entail."
Mr Dexter said for many smaller brewers that relied on keg sales at pubs, it had been a disastrous year, however those that were able to sell bottled products had done it a little better as takeaway options had increased.
Mr Dexter said organisers were working through a contingency that involved the selling of all-day tickets and splitting it up into four to five hour sessions which would allow for a clean up of the site after the first session had concluded.
"We can look at ways at reducing the numbers per session and things like that," Mr Dexter said.
"But we are definitely planning for it to go ahead."
Mr Dexter said there would likely be more announcements within the coming weeks, confirming that there were some discussions taking place in regards to a second event to be held the following day which would run in conjunction with the Beer Fest.
He said he hoped to release more details on that soon.