ChillOut Festival returns for 2024

Courtney Act photo by Mitch FongGet ready to kick up your heels because ChillOut Festival, Australia’s premier regional LGBTIQ+ arts and cultural festival, is back for 2024!

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs will once again turn into a rainbow wonderland for the ‘Boots & Bling’ themed weekend for 7 – 11 March 2024.

Courtney Act will headline the festival with multiple performances and appearances across the weekend. “I’m absolutely thrilled to finally set foot in Daylesford for ChillOut 2024!” says Courtney.

“After hearing countless fabulous stories about this gem of a town and its vibrant community, I’m ready to sprinkle a little Courtney Act sparkle on the festivities.”

Festival favourites such as the fabulously camp Bush Dance (Saturday night) and Street Parade (Sunday) will return, along with new events such as 100% Dance, which will get the party started at Daylesford Town Hall on the Friday night. Poof Doof is returning once again to host the official ChillOut after party! (Sunday night).

Featuring over 50 events, ChillOut Festival is Australia’s premier and longest-running regional queer festival, attracting nearly 30,000 visitors who fill the accommodations and restaurants in the region.

Mary-Anne Thomas MP (Macedon) said 2024’s ChillOut would be a fantastic event that benefits locals and visitors alike.

“Daylesford is well known as the queer capital of regional Australia, and every year the local community embraces the transformation into a vibrant celebration of diversity for four unforgettable days. ChillOut Festival is where country pride meets great music, performances, and non-stop fun,” said Mary-Anne Thomas MP.

“The Victorian Government is a proud supporter of ChillOut Festival – a fantastic regional event that celebrates the diversity of every individual in attendance. ChillOut Festival brings people together from all over the country, which fosters a sense of inclusion while also providing a boost to local businesses and jobs,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.

Festival Programming Committee Member, Jacqui Walter said now was the time to secure tickets to the events, which sell out quickly. “We’re preparing some great entertainment including visual arts, live music, comedy, cabaret, parties, sports, social events, and public forums, there’s something for everyone,” said Walter.

“The festival showcases a range of LGBTQIA+ artists and performers, both ticketed and free. It’s queer and definitely here in 2024. Snap up your tickets and get ready for a spectacular line-up of performers and program highlights that will blow your mind!”

ChillOut Festival 2024 Program Highlights:

Opening Night
Daylesford Masonic Lodge: Thursday 7 March
Kick off ChillOut with a free community event at the Daylesford Masonic Lodge, hosted by fabulous ChillOut veterans Dean Arcuri and Polly Filla. Sing along with talented local primary school choirs and cheer as we turn on the rainbow lights at the Town Hall, all before it’s lights out time for kids.

100% Dance
Daylesford Town Hall: Friday 8 March
Kick off ChillOut 2024 in style with a town hall dance party hosted by rainbow weatherman Nate Byrne! Don’t stop ‘til you drop with featured acts Shauna Jensen (NSW) singing your favourite dance hits, Kween Kong and dancers (of RuPaul Drag Race renown) and headline act 100% Kylie Tribute Show (be still our beating hearts: Padam Padam). Festival favourite DJ Du Jour will bring the beats until the night ends. We are sure Courtney will be popping in to have a boogie with you all.

They Cam From Uranus
Palais Hepburn: Saturday 9 March 
A Psychedelic Sci-Fi Cabaret Burlesque! Oh yes! The aliens have arrived but not quite as NASA predicted. Prepare to be horrified, shocked and possibly slightly aroused by a cast of the most extraordinary extraterrestrials to ever hit a burlesque stage. Join Murray and his Murrrayonettes for an afternoon of hilarious cabaret chaos. Extraordinary Humanette puppets perform in a sexy, sassy and unashamedly decadent display of camp humour.

Australia’s Biggest Drag Storytime
Victoria Park: Saturday 9 March – 3.00pm
Join Art Simone, Frock Hudson, Gabriella La Bucci, and Nate Byrne at Victoria Park as we attempt to host the biggest ever drag story time right here in the LGBTQIA+ capital of regional Victoria. Who doesn’t love sparkles and a good story? Reading is good for you – it’s FUN-damental! Free Event!

Bush Dance
Victoria Park: Saturday 9 March
It’s time to dust off your cowboy boots and slip on your best flannie for some riotous two-stepping and line dancing fun at our iconic ChillOut event, Bush Dance. Hosted by the sexiest weatherman in the Business, Nat Byrne and drag superstar Courtney Act. The night promises non-stop country dancing with the Devil Goat String band back to deliver country fun with dance caller Bruce. Close out the night with our DJs keeping you on the Dancefloor till late.

Funk Soul Sista
Daylesford Town Hall: Saturday 9 March
Celebrate all things femme at this saloon lounge and dance event. An incredible line-up of acts awaits. Hosted by Denise Hanlon and featuring icons Bluehouse and funk soul sensation Bek Jensen. Dance into the wee hours with DJ Eddie.

ChillOut Street Parade
Vincent St, Daylesford: Sunday 10 March (10.00am)
Don’t miss the iconic ChillOut Street Parade, with our community and festival stars on display.

Victoria Park: Sunday 10 March
A day of community, laughter, singing, and joy hosted by Nate Byrne, Courtney Act and Narelda Jacobs. Line-up includes Rogue Traders Duo featuring Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Kween Kong, Katie Underwood, Sexy Galexy, Shauna Jensen, The Lost Girls, Bek Jensen duo, DJ Du Jour, Dolly Diamond and more with and a closing performance by Courtney Act.

Poof Doof
Victoria Park: Sunday 10 March
Poof Doof is returning to host the official ChillOut after party! This hugely popular event will sell out as the Poof Doof crew bring the famous Horse Meat Disco to town with international line-up of queer DJ and Drag icons for a spectacular ‘Denim & Diamonds’ themed event.

Club Broadway
Palais Hepburn: Sunday 10 March
Come on a euphoric journey through the heart of Broadway and beyond. Feel the rhythm, sing at the top of your lungs, and dance the night away to the soundtracks that have captivated the world. With spectacular pop-up performances that promise to leave you spellbound. Our divas and superstars are ready to razzle-dazzle you with glitter, glamour, and show-stopping numbers!

The 2024 ChillOut Festival runs Thursday 7 March to Monday 11 March. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Courtney Act – photo by Mitch Fong