Knowing people would be hankering to get out of the house, there was no way Escape! festival staff were letting Covid-19 stand in their way.
The only problem was how to fund it, board member Sue Hoffart said.
"It is a financial risk for us, and a very calculated risk that we are very willing to take. We're not asking our sponsors to put their hands in their pockets for us.
"But we've got some reserves from a lot of prudent financial management and this is what it's for. It's for a rainy day, and this is a rainy day."
Escape!, which is centred around authors and creative minds, was cancelled early this year due to the pandemic.
However, the team has since worked hard to create a pop-up version.
The Tauranga Arts Festival Trust Board was adamant the city shouldn't miss out on the "little festival with big ideas" in 2020.
"We feel as though we need to take a punt on this and it's our reason for being. We're here to engage people and stimulate minds and hearts," Hoffart said.
The festival is going above and beyond in supporting local by not only sourcing guest speakers from around the upper North Island, but all have been published by small New Zealand publishers.
"When lockdown happened we were thinking about what we would do and the idea of this little pop up that's a bit more nimble.
"Normally we would run over three days, this is just keeping it to a weekend. If this proves to be successful, then we'll maybe look at doing something like this again," Hoffart said.
Board member Ian Thomas said doing the event meant they weren't just paying back their supporters, but also the creatives who had been left in the lurch this year.
"This sort of weekend can open windows to people's minds, that's why these are so important."
The talent on stage from the Tauranga area will include short-story writer and GP Dr Andrew Corin, marine scientist Dr Kura Paul-Burke, small-town champion Karen Summerhays, hospital chaplain Matiu Best and bird expert Paul Cuming.
Panel discussion topics include the increasing use of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) alongside Western science; how to talk about death and dying with our loved ones; and a look back at 2020 from a political, business, sustainability and community point of view.
Events will take place at Waikato University in Durham St, Tauranga, on October 17 and at Baycourt Theatre and in Durham St on October 18.
Tickets, from the Tauranga Arts Festival website or Baycourt box office, include day passes and $5 tickets for students with ID.