Will we or won't we?
That's been the tough decision on the minds of the Rotorua Blues Festival organisers since the start of the year as they grappled with whether to host the festival this year.
And the good news for blues music fans is it's all go.
At Labour Weekend from Friday to Sunday, October 23 to 25, a total of 30 bands and solo performers will rotate four main venues in Rotorua delivering blues music at a mix of free and ticketed events.
The bands will perform at the Social Club, Rotorua Citizen's Club, Eat Streat and a one-off event on the Lakeland Queen.
Among the line-up is the Michael Barker Experience, Hybrid Blues, Jan Preston, Fiona and the Holy Pocket, Kokomo, Theory 89, Nikau and the Natives, B Side Band and Hammer On.
Organiser Di Riddell said the festival was usually held over Queen's Birthday Weekend in June, but this year it had been postponed as a result of going in and out of alert levels due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She said planning for the festival started in January but when the country went into lockdown the plans had to be put off.
Instead of cancelling the event completely, the committee hung in there with the hope it could still go ahead, albeit at a later date.
Riddell said they usually attracted many overseas acts but were still thrilled to host Preston, who was committed to come over from Australia and go through the two-week isolation period once she arrived.
"She is going to do a tour now of New Zealand and is using the festival as a springboard."
The BOP Blues Club started in 2006 and the festival started not long after that, only taking a break in 2018 when funding became an issue.
"It's come back better than ever and last year it got so much support. We didn't want to miss it this year so we all decided 'let's go for it'," she said.
Tia Smith from Dominate Events said there was a lot of uncertainty around events as a result of Covid-19, prompting many of the suppliers, musicians and organisers to get together to share ideas.
She said many of the events had come back with a refreshed approached.
"A lot have cancelled but people are really thirsty for them and aren't afraid to go out and attend. It's generated this energy back into Rotorua and there's a lot more enthusiasm and excitement."
Smith said she was a huge supporter of the Rotorua Blues Festival and she was glad it was "kicking on" despite the unknown of whether the country would go back into level 2 or 3.
"We have to keep pushing forward, we can't stop planning because this is our new reality."
BOP Blues president Terry Oldham said his band, Theory 89, was looking forward to playing three sets during the festival.
He said the festival would be one of the first major events to go ahead in Rotorua after the second wave of Covid-19.
"I said to the team, 'let's go for it and get the funding'. We took a gamble and it paid off."
The Rotorua Blues Festival starts on Friday, October 23 with a free or gold coin entry meet and greet party at the Social Club from 5pm to 10pm.
More free and gold coin music happens on Saturday, October 24 simultaneously from midday through to late afternoon at the Social Club and on Eat Street.
There's day pass ticketed shows at the Rotorua Citizens' Club on Saturday from 1.30pm until late and again on Sunday afternoon and the grand finale at that venue Sunday night.
The Lakeland Queen Blues Cruise with the Mike Garner band happens on Sunday between 3pm and 5pm.