Bendigo musicians believe live, face-to-face music won't return until next year.
It will mean some performers won't see a stage or live audience for more than a year.
Regular gigs for musicians dried up in March as Victoria prepared to face its first stint of coronavirus lockdown.
Since then, paying gigs have been nearly non existent with Four Lions frontman Shann Lions not expecting a live performance until next June.
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"I can't see live gigs happening until mid next year," he said.
"Some other states have been doing small scale shows with 20 or 30 people where it is ticketed and distanced but I'm not interested unless we can go and play per normal.
"I also work full time as well, so it a matter of asking 'do I want to spend my two nights off a week doing shows for 20 people?' I don't.
Many musicians and bands have turned to online options to keep their music careers afloat with Lions taking part in two major online performances during the pandemic - at Ulumbarra Theatre for Bendigo Venues and Events' The Way Back and online festival Isol-Aid.
"They were good and really well received," he said. "Isol-Aid, was the biggest online music festival from Australia but apart from that all the online (performances) feels a bit weird."
Lions said live streams were a concept that left people at home saturated in content.
"There's bands whose bread and butter is live shows and they can't do it unless it is online," he said.
"Playing shows online is a bit of fun and I think it was a good new concept when COVID started but the bigger bands are now doing ticketed shows you can go and watch online."
Bendigo singer-songwriter Sherri Parry has also only performed on a handful of live streams during the pandemic.
"There's really not much work at all apart from the stray live stream here or there," she said. "Even then it is often not paid work, so financially, it is really, really rough.
"There are still opportunities that some organisations or businesses are creating or that we create ourselves to get that emotional benefit and keep our mental health in check."
Parry said the network of young musicians she keeps in contact with have turned to creating content rather than focusing on live streams.
"Most of my friendship group is the foundation of the young local music scene here already," she said. "I'm lucky to stay in contact with them all.
"Everyone of us has gone and bought an interface recording system to keep us entertained, creative and let us be productive.
There's bands whose bread and butter is live shows and they can't do it unless it is online.Shann Lions
"I haven't heard of any of them having gigs, live gigs, since this whole thing started. It's down to a mixture of the fact they are not available but, also, it's a risk for our own health as well as the community's."
Parry said she and other musicians have turned back to an old-school of making money for musicians - merchandise. But she is also looking into the online opportunities available to people.
"I'm launching a Patreon (online subscription service) this weekend, so there are things like that we can do if we want," she said. "But that's only for some of us.
"We can't perform right now or play in our favourite venues but luckily we still have products, have music and our brand. So some are migrating to a different kind of product to market which is merchandise.
"A lot are looking at things like making physical copies for order, personalising messages and sending them in the mail.
"Normally hundred per cent physical copy sales came through gigs. There is something beautiful in meeting a person, handing your work of art to and thanking them or showing gratitude. But that situation is a little ways off now.
"It's only brand new for me, I announced it about a week ago, but have sent about seven out and am really grateful for that.
"Shann, myself and Bill Barber have our own products and a way to market ourselves but there are also session artists who play on other peoples music and make it what it is who can't get work or make money themselves. They're the ones I feel for."
Lions had planned on recorded and releasing two albums in the next year but the coronavirus pandemic has made booking studio time difficult.
He said releasing an album without being able to tour and perform to promote and sell it was difficult.
"We started recording our fifth album and had to postpone. We got in for five days and had more dates planned but there were cancelled," he said.
"The band was looking at potentially putting an album out early next year and maybe another later in year. Now we won't put an album out unless we can tour.
"Any band that wants to release music, only 'x' amount people go and buy the album. If you're an independent band, you sell 90 percent of albums at your gigs.
"Outlaying money to make a great album - unless you can play shows - there's no real point. There are that many other bands in a similar position."
Going forward, restaurants are expected to consider more outdoor dining as restrictions ease, opening the possibility for musicians to see some gigs open up.
But Lions and Parry won't pin their hopes too high. Lions said hospitality businesses that were already struggling wouldn't want to spend more money than they had to.
"(Restaurants and cafes) want to make money," he said. "(They) don't want to outlay dollars to get music for atmosphere when they are hemorrhaging money because of restricted numbers.
"Maybe if costs were shared across 'x' number of venues, that would be the only way you could do it.
"The value of music to me and other musicians is higher than it is to the general public.
"Generally in restaurants, music is a thing in the background of conversations people are having."
Parry said the potential return of live music would depends on the government's coronavirus data.
"It's entirely dependent on the stats and everyone doing the right thing," she said. "Even then, socialising in any form is going to be different.
"We're not going to all be able to go pubs and dance together. It's going to be really different. So I'm trying not set any expectations, because it will just be upsetting for entertainers, businesses and audiences when it doesn't come to fruition."