It's long been tagged as the chance to spend "five days in a perfect world", but the National Folk Festival will have more than a tinge of heartbreak this year.
Organisers are expecting the usual crowds of "folkies" to converge on Canberra over the Easter long weekend, but many will be in recovery mode.
Festival director Helen Roben said part of this year's event would be a "heartfelt response" to the tragedies of the summer, in which three smaller festivals were cancelled and many in the heartland of the folk community were struggling.
On the Saturday of the festival, there'll be a special "Hope for Folk" concert featuring the performers originally programmed to play at the Cobargo, Nariel Creek and Numeralla folk festivals, with all proceeds from the bar going to recovery efforts.
Ms Roben said the 54th festival was a better time than ever to support the folk community.
"Whether that helps with the recovery, we don't know, but we're really reaching out for people to just come and have a good time," she said.
She said she was looking forward to her first festival at the helm, although she has attended half a dozen "folkies" in previous years.
This year's program has more than 200 acts in 16 venues, as well as a kids festival, street food and circus performers.
Many of the acts are coming from overseas, including American roots and blues songstress Kyshona, BBC Radio's Folk Singer of the Year Jon Boden (UK), and all-female Maori roots and dance ensemble Mm Mihirangi & the Mreikura.
Whether that helps with the recovery, we don't know, but we're really reaching out for people to just come and have a good time.National Folk Festival managing director Helen Roben
Ms Roben said she was hanging out to see the festival's youth ambassador and Canberra's own Lucy Sugerman performing, as well as locals the Stiff Gins, Scottish group the Elephant sessions and country royalty Henry Wagons.
Coming from a senior management role in the not-for-profit sector, she said she felt privileged to be part of a long folkie tradition.
But she hoped festival goers might be able to put the 2019-20 horror summer behind them, if only for a weekend.
"It's heart-wrenching what's happened to the all of those folk communities - it's life changing," she said.
"What we're doing is just a drop in the ocean, but we just want people to come for a break."
More than half of the festival crowds coming from outside Canberra, and organisers sat last year's festival brought $4.3 million into the local economy.
- The National Folk Festival is on April 9-13 at Epic. Visit folkfestival.org.au for details.