Tens of thousands of music lovers will be keeping their fingers crossed this summer's Rhythm & Vines can go ahead in a Gisborne region that is one of the nation's least-vaccinated areas.
About 23,000 people attended the music festival at Waiohika Estate in Gisborne on each day it ran between December 28 and January 1 last summer.
Yet this morning, it was suggested the popular festival won't go ahead unless Gisborne's Tairāwhiti DHB - the region where the event takes place - has 90 per cent of its eligible residents double vaccinated with the Pfizer Covid vaccine.
So far only 65 per cent of the DHB's eligible residents have had both jabs. About 80 per cent have had their first jab.
For eligible Māori, only 52 per cent are double dosed and 70 per cent have had one dose.
Co-founder Hamish Pinkham went on radio station Newstalk ZB this afternoon to clarify his team are ready to go again this summer, but are waiting on the Government.
"We're ready to go, tickets are sold, bands are booked, the venue is looking fantastic," he told host Heather du Plessis-Allan.
"We've been waiting for the clarity, but we are still not seeing it."
"We understand that will be coming, we just hope it doesn't come too late."
His comments come as East Coast MP Kiritapu Allan this morning said she had been told by festival organisers that they were waiting on the region to hit the 90 per cent double vaccination mark.
But Pinkham said organisers are simply being guided by officials and it is the Government that will make the decision on whether events can take place.
"We don't set public health policy," he said.
The Government has earlier said it will only move to its new traffic light system to manage Covid once every District Health Board region in the country has 90 per cent of eligible residents double Covid vaccinated.
The traffic light system will allow events to take place, provided organisers use vaccine certificates to ensure only double vaccinated festival goers are in attendance.
Pinkham said the Government had told him a decision would be made at the end of November.
"Come the end of the month, when things are looked at in the current light of day, we'll be all better placed to see if we can gather safely in places like Gisborne for New Year's Eve," he said.
He said he was happy to wait a month if needed, but urged the Government to move quickly.
If it waited until mid-December to give direction, the festival might fall over.
"We can't just plug the keys in mid-December and expect things to just pop up on our end," he said.
"We do need clarity, we can't continue to get dragged week to week and expect the summer to magically appear."
He also remained hopeful that even if the 90 per cent vaccination mark was not hit, events could still go ahead.
"The Government has been alluding to saving summer, they are saying we'll get our road trips and concerts," he said.
"We've earnt it and everyone that's got an R&V ticket will be ready for a cold beer and group hug and chance to bask in the Gisborne sun come New Year's Eve," he said.
When asked whether Rhythm & Vines fans should hang onto their tickets, Pinkham said they definitely should.
"We want summer to happen, we're certainly not giving up yet. Get vaccinated and let's save summer and pat ourselves on the back for all the hard work we've been doing these last few months."