A TWO-HOUR live-stream featuring regional musicians has Bendigo Venues and Events optimistic the entertainment industry can begin to plan for the future.
Ulumbarra Theatre hosted The Way Back on Sunday night with three local acts performing for a social media audience.
BVE manager David Lloyd said about 5000 people watched the stream on Sunday night.
"We have had 6000 views, which is a really good number when you consider only 1000 people could fit in Ulumbarra," he said.
"Looking through the comments a lot of them are really positive. We deliberately called it The way Back because we are hopeful of opening the theatre again."
Mr Lloyd said he hoped audiences would be able to return to theatres by early next year.
"July next year would be the worst case scenario," Mr Lloyd said. "I know not many people are talking about (event venues returning) before October. The touring industry, in particular, are really looking at early next year.
"In terms of being at a full level, I think that maybe early in new year. That's not to say we won't be doing activities but when we get the go ahead from the government, we'll be ready to fire up.
"A lot of planning is being done around opening as soon as possible. When we get the nod, we're confident we'll be ready to fire up quickly."
Mr Lloyd said he hopes Bendigp Venues and Events can expand on Sunday's presentation.
"There's lots going on, just without large audiences," Mr Lloyd said. "We're hoping to do one of these (The Way Back streams) once a month. It's a great use of the space and has highlighted the talents of those artists.
"It's not an inexpensive undertaking but I think it's a great way of showcasing local talent and get the venue up and running again."
Mr Lloyd said it was worth considering whether The Way Back could continue to grow its audience.
"We're certainly talking about how we expand and given (Sunday's) success, we know there's an appetite for it," he said. "There's lots that is needed to considered like social distancing, hygiene and COVID-safe practices. So logistics come into it but there is also artistic benefits.
"We are talking about how contemporary (performances), musical theatre and classical music might fit it. We really want to make sure highlight as many genres as well as the artists."
In the meantime, Bendigo Venues and Events will continue presenting it's online videos.
"We are doing a lot online," he said. "We've got our Play at Home series on Fridays and Saturdays, which is more a performance from (an artist's) lounge room rather than a big production-valued thing.
,"There's also the What I Did Last Week program online for a visual arts and literature showcase every week and regular showcase events for the Bendigo Writers Festival.
"In the short term, we are also pulling together expressions of interest for community groups to have access to venues and rehearse in this time where our doors are closed."