A Northern Grampians Shire councillor is hopeful a music festival near St Arnaud this weekend can set an example of how like events can succeed safely and change perceptions.
The Babylon Festival, at Carapooee West, runs from Thursday to Sunday, with about 5000 people expected to attend and a further 2500 volunteering or working in some capacity.
Music festivals in rural areas have been shrouded in controversy - more recently following several drug overdoses at the Rainbow Serpent Festival at Lexton last month.
Tony Driscoll, a Northern Grampians Shire Kara Kara ward councillor, said the Babylon Festival was an example of a positive rural music event.
"It is a matter of people coming and enjoying themselves, but doing so in a responsible manner," he said.
"Hopefully this can be an incident-free event and make an example of how these events can be run."
Cr Driscoll said the event was an opportunity for people to visit the region and gain an appreciation for it.
"It certainly provides economic spin-offs for our community, but we also hope people see what is here and maybe even consider employment opportunities if the enjoy it that much," he said.
Police hope the festival can follow similar "positive trends" to last year's event.
"It was very peaceful last year. The only incident we had was one bloke tripping over and breaking his ankle. We also only had one overdose resulting in a person being transported from the venue," St Arnaud Sergeant Bill Alford said.
"We have done all the prep work, all the staffing is done and the weather is looking good, so we are hoping for another good event."
St Arnaud, Stawell, Ararat, Horsham and Ballarat police will attend the festival for the third year.
Sergeant Alford said he believed police would not manage the issues experienced at the Rainbow Serpent Festival in January.
"We all know there will be drugs there and we are addressing them in the most proper way we can in terms of harm minimisation," he said.
"There is some concern around Rainbow, whereas we don't seem to have that sort of clientele and that sort of presence, as far as drug problems are concerned.
"We also have a significantly smaller crowd, which makes it easier to deal with.
"We have a drug dog which will be used on Thursday and Friday and given plenty of notice to patrons about the safe consumption of drugs."
Police expect more than 1100 cars to travel to the festival site.
"We have organised large illuminated signage outside the venue on the Sunraysia Highway to alert drivers the festival is going ahead," Sergeant Alford said.
"We ask drivers to be patient in the area this weekend to be safe.
"We will have two booze buses coming on Sunday and Monday to keep things safe."
While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from across the Northern Grampians shire, sign up here.