It’s been a couple of years now since Australian’s witnessed a long and exhaustive campaign for marriage equality. Despite the controversial voluntary Australian Bureau of Statistics yes/no postal survey, once all was said and done, revolutionary societal progression was made and Australia finally caught up with the multiple other countries who have recognised the LGBTIQ community since as early as 2001.
Though Australia hasn’t always supported this population from a legal standpoint, festivals like ChillOut have been loudly and proudly celebrating Aussie ‘queers’ for more than 20 years in our beautiful Victorian town, Daylesford. Existing primarily as an advocate for LGBTIQ rights, the festival embraces all things regional, just like Forte.
Returning now for its 23rd year for the March long weekend, ChillOut Festival will once again be taking over the town with a program as diverse as the queer community and its extended family of friends and supporters themselves.
Once again spreading its magnificent wings in Daylesford, the five-day festival will feature more than 50 events under the theme of ‘Through the Looking Glass – Alice in Spa Wonderland!’. If you’re an Alice, or a Red Queen, or perhaps even a pair of Tweedledees or Tweedledums, adventure awaits however you choose to express yourself with an abundance of music, theatre, circus, dance and pool parties, sporty pursuits, a children’s program and a stellar line up of performers.
Some delights for the 2020 edition include fabulous parties, the longest line-dancing dedication to Dolly Parton, a Mad Hatters Dance Party, a Bette Midler tribute show, a ChillOut Bush Dance, Twilight Bathing, and the diverse selection of wellbeing activities on offer. As always, the festival will reach peak frivolity on Sunday when the much-loved ChillOut Parade takes over the town for a magical hour-long carnival parade.
Rainbow-lovers are invited to gather in Daylesford on Saturday 7 March to show support for Queer Country Pride in an attempt to break the Australian world record for the most people gathered to form a human rainbow. The attempt will be officiated by the Guinness Book of Records, which ChillOut Festival Director Michele Bauer says will be a collective symbol of solidarity and acceptance for the LGBTIQ community.
“It has been two years since marriage equality but we still have a long way to go on LGBTIQ rights. The world’s largest human rainbow will be a grand global display, showing that Australians believe in diversity and continue to stand for equality.”
The ChillOut Festival 2020 ambassador Katherine Wolfgramme, an out and proud transgender-woman, will also be present across the weekend discussing transgender rights and visibility in Australia. Additional workshops and talks will be held across the Festival including a fundraiser for Raising Rainbows, a dedicated group raising awareness and empowering young LGBTIQ in regional Victoria.
ChillOut Festival is an inclusive, family-friendly event celebrating Australia’s positive display of unity. ChillOut Festival takes place in Daylesford, Victoria from Thursday 5 to Monday 9 March. Tickets and further information can be found at chilloutfestival.com.au