We've been doing amplified music in big fields for quite a while, and it's been sorely missed in the last 12 months.
The last big festival was Golden Plains at sunny Meredith in March, and even then, there were noticeable changes - more hand sanitisers around and warnings to the crowd to be careful.
It's been a long few months since then, but thankfully, nature is healing and soon Ballarat will host the next leg of the SummerSalt tour.
Taking over the North Gardens on Sunday, headliners The Teskey Brothers will be joined by the legendary John Butler and The Cat Empire, with a resurgent Boy and Bear, Eurovision favourite Montaigne, and up-and-coming Emily Wurramara.
WHAT DID MORNINGTON'S EVENT LOOK LIKE?
That's a stacked lineup, pandemic or not, and in a throwback to times gone by, it's even toured the entire country, including two shows at Mornington last weekend.
The Ballarat show is sold out already - promoter Duane McDonald said he was proud of his hometown jumping on the opportunity so quickly - but it will be watched closely by other event organisers hoping to get back in the game.
The approval process for events large and small in Victoria has been criticised lately, with organisers waiting until what feels like the last minute for approvals and hoping their applications are not lost in the void.
For medium size events like SummerSalt, with a couple of thousand attendees and careful logistical planning, it could be the way of the future.
The Mornington festival, coming the weekend following Victoria's circuit breaker lockdown, received final approval three days before the Saturday show.
In Ballarat, instead of the usual general admission field most music festival attendees are familiar with, North Gardens will be split into two zones, each with their own toilets, bars, and food stalls.
That means the capacity crowd will have more space to move and socially distance from other groups.
Speaking of groups, each attendee will have to bring their own camp chair to get in the gate.
Not all festivals and tours ban these - the Red Hot Summer Tour and Day on the Green shows, for example, are exceptionally camp chair-friendly - but making them mandatory is a new development.
Attendees will have to stay in their own space, at least 1.5 metres from other social groups.
The good news is, they'll still be able to get up and dance, but only in front of their chairs or rugs - those hoping for Big Day Out-style antics inside the D-barrier may have to wait a while.
There'll also be more hand sanitiser stations, COVID marshalls wandering the crowd, and mandatory mask-wearing when people are unable to socially distance.
Ticketholders will get a text message this week reminding them of what's required, with the usual information like set times - the SummerSalt websites notes cautiously "due to COVID 19, some restrictions or impositions may be forced upon us at the last minute".
"It's all Victorian (Department of Health and Human Services)-mandated for what we can and can't do on-site," Mr McDonald said, adding he was confident it would be a superb day
He noted some of the planning process had been useful as a festival organiser, to see things in a new light.
"We're learning a lot," he said.
"We're trying new things now because we have to, to make the event safe, but actually standing back now, we're looking at them and thinking they're things we should carry forward for when the pandemic's over."
The majority of people understand social distancing and why the measures need to be followed, he said, which makes keeping people safe easier.
"Hopefully it gives people confidence that shows can go ahead, because we are missing out on a lot," he said.
"It was great to see the Beer Festival get up over the weekend, and other things are popping up - it can be done, the paperwork and logistics are a headache, but God knows how long this'll be with us for.
"In our case, it was either give it a go, or we've got no income for another 12 months."
Not everything's back yet, and some events have had to postpone, like the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute's major fundraiser, the Ballarat Cycle Classic, now running in March, but each safely-executed event will help the next one get up.
IN THE NEWS
That's good news for all involved, Mr McDonald said, from punters to road crews and musicians.
"You can just see the difference in the musicians now, I think they're like the rest of us, they used to take going on stage a little bit for granted because it was something they could do whenever they wanted, but now it really means something to actually have people in front of them," he said.
"We're actually getting some normality back."
SummerSalt's gates open at North Gardens at 12.30pm on Sunday, February 28, with the first act from 1pm.
A shuttle bus will run to and from Civic Hall all day for a gold coin.
Food and sealed still water bottles are allowed on-site, but no BYO alcohol.
Organisers advise being patient when leaving the show if driving.
The show is sold out.
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