Much like a Bob Dylan song, times are changing for Warrnambool's music scene.
The Loft, which closed its doors in June had been the centerpiece of live music for two decades after the demise of much-loved and historic venues The Cri and the Lady Bay.
How will this gap be filled?
Several venues are showcasing musical talents throughout their weekend events but a go-to stage to inspire the next generation of musicians and bring the country's best artists to the edge of Victoria has disappeared.
With plenty of ideas floating around as to what could fill the void, Warrnambool music guru Russ Goodear has a lot of confidence in what the region can offer.
"I was really saddened by the closure of The Loft. It was a great supporter of local music and brought a lot of other artists here," he said.
"But I'm very optimistic for the future of the Warrnambool live music scene. (Since The Loft's closure) we've had award-winning Australian blues artist Jimi Hocking pack out Warrnambool Hotel, The Cally held an American themed festival with music throughout and the monthly 15 Minutes of Fame had yet another a full house.
"We need to keep building and supporting what we've already got."
The medium-sized space The Loft offered was a great fit for many travelling artists on their tours and without a pre-existing space fitting this bill, locals are calling for something more.
"I think there is a need for a place like The Loft - where people on national tours could come too," Mr Goodear said.
"But having said that, without The Loft, there is an opportunity for existing venues to open its doors and pick up where The Loft left off.
"We have great venue owners and over 17 places where live music is held on a regular or semi-regular basis throughout the year.
"All these venues are alive and well and they're bringing people to town."
With a standing-room capacity of 450, The Whalers Hotel is emerging as the likely existing venue to replace The Loft. Manager Alistair Porter is hopeful they can continue to bring in larger acts such as the recent performances by Illy, The Bennies, Pete Murray and Ziggy Alberts, but he admits it can be difficult to secure musical talents.
"We'd like to expand our venue to fill the gap left from the closure of The Loft," he said.
"This time of the year is hard getting people out and about but once the football season has finished there's a bit more traffic.
"We aim to have one big headline a month. We try and push for sideshows from local festivals and that way it's a bit cheaper for us. Polish Club came to us through Grampians Festival and Ziggy Alberts was part of his Australian tour. We also have some one-off shows like the Pete Murray gig.
"When we've had big acts, we've had a crazy percentage of people coming from Melbourne and Geelong where they missed out on the shows there.
"I'm not sure if we need a new venue, but I think if we mix the music around a few venues and local support, we'd become more known for music."
Cally Hotel manager Lucas Reid hosts music usually twice a week and hopes a new more vibrant entertainment venue will emerge.
"I think there needs to be a main venue as bands need opportunities to be heard," he said.
"For the live music scene to grow you need an understanding and supportive landlord, good neighbours and people willing to support live music.
"A stand alone venue solely dedicated to live music will be tough to re-open.
"I think the ideal scenario would be some kind of small Federation Square development done on the Civic Green allowing live music until 11pm at night. It could grow to involve food, music, light installations, art and more all in the one spot.
"I also think bands need to be more proactive in marketing and selling their gigs."
The Commercial Hotel in Terang has seen the need for live music to expand to outside of Warrnambool and have begun their monthly Terang Live event bringing some of the country's best talent to the south-west.
The recent Bill Chambers and AP D'Antonio gig sold out the 60 capacity venue and owner Les Cameron said the intimate setting was proving a hit with locals.
"People are interested and we're able to sell our events but we are only a small venue," he said.
"We'll try and have a well known monthly act coming in and outside of that we'll aim to bring in local talent.
"We want to have music in Terang and we have strong links to Cobden and Camperdown so there is a Corangamite presence swelling. We travel and support each others gigs and try not to clash our dates.
"If we continue having successful small venues, the audiences will support the bigger venues because they're coming for the music experience."
On the other end of the spectrum, the Lighthouse Theatre with a capacity seated audience of over 500 regularly hosts big Australian acts who seek to hire the venue out on their regional tours.
Service manager Xavier Dannock acknowledges the need for a middle-capacity site but sees potential in our established venues.
"There is definitely a lot of opportunity for live music to come here," he said.
"I think people are accessing their music differently now - it's more easier to travel to Melbourne for shows and that factor has to be considered.
"We still have a great reputation here and we're always very busy hosting larger acts and tribute bands. But The Loft was a unique space for up and coming artists and there is still space here with what we have."
While the live music scene is still carrying on, in order to upheld the south-west's repertoire as a music hub, it seems something must arise.
"There is a wonderful history of Warrnambool musical talent going onto the world stage," Mr Goodear said.
"It could be something in our water but I think it's the influence of local events and musicians sharing their art.
"There's still a whole lot of emerging artists and we have great support and mentoring for these people through school and private programs.
"I'm totally optimistic about the local scene and I would like to see the regional population support our existing venues, events, functions and cabarets - that way, they can only grow."
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