Last month, leading Tasmanian event organiser Adrian Barrett warned live music venues may be forced to close their doors if restrictions on public gatherings weren't relaxed before winter. Now with winter just days away, many venues are facing a grim reality coupled with the end of JobKeeper and ongoing overhead costs.
Throughout the past year Tasmania has faced some of the toughest restrictions in the country. Many will argue this has clearly paid off, with the state enjoying months of relative normality and fortunately, no COVID. We can dance at night clubs, enjoy sporting games and from May 1 we were given the all-clear to fill stadiums and theatres, with capacity at seated and ticketed events returning to 100 per cent.
But among it all, many argue live music venues have been forgotten, with a typical indoor live music show without fixed seating falling outside the government's events framework.
Rather, they are faced with COVID public gathering requirements and for many, it makes hosting a gig unsustainable.
For the past few months a possible workaround has been to host events outdoors, but it hasn't been easy.
In March, the highly anticipated Basin Concert was forced to make a last-minute move from Cataract Gorge to Inveresk Park to satisfy heightened COVID restrictions.
When the event did get underway, further adjustments were then made with the introduction of "designated dance zones" to ensure dancefloor capacity remained in line with their COVID-safe plan.
At the time, organisers said the quick decision "saved the event", but it didn't mean some punters weren't left disappointed.
After all, when you hear live music, the usual response is to get up and dance. Which is why it's not surprising to learn that ongoing restrictions are hurting some of Tasmania's smaller pubs and clubs.
Many hospitality venues rely heavily on live music to remain viable.
The Health Department has long maintained that seated events pose a lower risk than events where people mix and move freely.
And while ensuring public safety should remain our number one priority, when restrictions have been eased on nearly all other venues - when will the time come to give our smaller pubs and clubs the same freedoms?