March 1st, 2023Get ready – it’s almost time to ChillOut
SOME fresh faces and feel-good favourites join the line-up as ChillOut
Choir of Hard Knocks and Lion will perform at the annual LGBTQIA+
pride festival event.
Australia’s most famous choir was introduced to the public in 2006 in the award-
winning ABC TV series Choir of Hard Knocks. Now in its 16th year, they continue
on their journey, with some of the original members from the award-winning
documentary, to ChillOut Festival’s annual carnival day.
The choir is an incredible tool for members to overcome social isolation and
homelessness through the joy and connection of singing.
Also joining the line-up is queer, black electropop/alt artist, singer, songwriter,
producer and dancer Lion who recently wowed audiences at Big Sound festival and
the Midsumma Festival Victoria’s Pride street party.
They join a star-studded rainbow line-up including MCs Nate Byrne and Art
Simone, Kate Miller-Heidke, Karen From Finance, The Lost Girls, Cerulean (Miss
First Nation 2021), Jude Perl, Elektra Lite, Tuck Shop Ladies, Greg Gould, Freddie
Merkin, Dean Arcuri, DJ Eddie, Diamond and York and DJ Du Jour.
Festival ambassadors Rudy Jean Rigg, commissioner for LGBTQIA+
Communities Dr Todd Fernando, Sally Goldner and Jude Munroe will also make
Festival director Emma Ireland said that ChillOut Festival was for the whole
LGBTQIA+ community, young and old, city and country. “We’re so excited that
Lion will bring his high energy, joyful performance to the stage in Daylesford.”
The ongoing and regular contact the Choir of Hard Knocks provides to the
members has had a profound effect on their lives, leading many of the original 52
back to either part-time or full-time study or work.
Many had become socially excluded due to their socio-economic circumstances,
and the choir has enabled them to acquire new skills and rebuild personal confidence
and self-esteem, which Ms. Ireland said “is the goal of ChillOut Festival for the
broader LGBTQIA+ community, and the essence of this year’s theme ‘Find Your
“ChillOut Festival was founded on the principle of being a safe space for people
to be themselves, connect, to create and celebrate community. The Choir of Hard
Knocks is a gorgeous example of that in action. ChillOut is a space for people to
overcome social isolation to connect with community. We are thrilled to have them
perform at ChillOut Festival.”
The full festival program features over 50 events running over five days around
Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Events will range from large late night outdoor
dance parties, circus, drag and comedy shows, and a Sunday morning street parade, to
the more intimate, like art gallery exhibitions, social drinks, speed dating, all-gender
sport events, and rainbow storytime.
ChillOut Festival will run from March 9-13 (Victoria’s Labour Day long
weekend) in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, with events also organised in nearby
towns Clunes and Creswick.
Lion will perform at Ballroom Blitz on Saturday, March 11, 8pm–midnight.
Choir of Hard Knocks will perform at Carnivale, Victoria Park on Sunday, March