March 15th, 2023Well Chilled! ChillOut ‘finds it’s wings’ and flies
Words: Eve Lamb. Images: Nadine Jade
Daylesford has turned on sparkling conditions for the Labour Day long weekend’s ChillOut festival with many thousands partying hard to the theme ‘Find your Wings’ across the multi-faceted long weekend just passed.
During Thursday’s Opening Night event at the town hall, ChillOut committee member and Hepburn Shire Council’s Councillor Tessa Halliday said: “The need for a symbol of pride is still relevant, we have come a long way but until we can say that every member of the LGBTIQA+ community is safe, accepted and included we still have work to do. We are lucky to live in a very supportive community however this doesn’t mean that there aren’t people in our community that are struggling with their identity or sexuality. The symbol of pride lets them know that they are important to the community and that they are safe to be themselves. The Big Rainbow says ‘you are safe here’. Daylesford is also a haven for LGBTIQA+ visitors, a place where they feel safe to be themselves, where they may not be able to at home.”
A gleeful and large crowd of locals and out-of-towners packed out the Daylesford Town Hall for the opening night where ambassador Sally Goldner flicked the switch and turned on Town Hall’s rainbow lights.
From there the partying ranged widely across comedy, dance, discussion, all ages events and activities including one of the most robustly attended Sunday street parades – transforming Vincent Street – in the event’s history.
The array of multi-faceted festival fun traversed the ChillOut Fundraiser Feast, speed dating, Find Your Wings exhibition launch and the gender and sexuality panels at the Savoia Hotel.
On the laughter front, there were some particularly notable dynamic duos performing. Diamond & York or Sass & Secrets dispensed hilarious shows, and Frock Hudson and Polly Filla welcomed festival-goers with bubbles to a relaxing evening at Splish Splash.
On Saturday the All Ages Sound Shell event was a vibrant gathering of community, rainbow families and young LGBTQIA+ people… while the bush dance – was “a toe tapping rooting rooting yeehawing party”.
Hepburn Shire mayor Cr Brian Hood was among those well impressed with the overall festival.
“The past weekend saw another successful ChillOut event. Recognised as a culturally important and nationally celebrated LGBTIQA+ pride event it supports Queer pride for all regional people,” he said.
“Events across the weekend were well-attended and Daylesford’s streets were well adorned with colourful decorations. And in a piece of great timing the Big Rainbow was installed and launched in time for ChillOut. The rainbow symbolises Council’s ongoing commitment to inclusiveness, diversity, respect and pride for our LGBTIQA+ community and allies,” Cr Hood said.