Rainbows in regional Victoria: ChillOut Festival 2020

ChillOut Parade Participant 2019Taking place across the March Labour Day long weekend, the 2020 ChillOut Festival will transform Victoria’s Central Highlands into Queer Country Wonderland in Australia’s largest and much-loved regional LGBTIQ+ event.

The 23rd ChillOut Festival promises 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, a diverse selection of wellbeing activities and so much more. Family-friendly theatre and arts events will run all weekend, plus a massive street parade and one giant rainbow.

Rainbow-lovers are invited to gather in Victoria Park, Daylesford on Saturday 7 March to show support for Queer Country Pride in an attempt to create a huge human rainbow. Participants need to register and will be given a t-shirt in one of the colours of the rainbow to be worn at the event.

ChillOut Festival Director Michele Bauer said this massive rainbow feat in Daylesford 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,” said Ms Bauer. “The world’s largest human rainbow will be a grand global display, showing that Australians believe in diversity and continue to stand for equality.”

Internationally acclaimed circus, theatre and cabaret performances take up residence in the Festival’s pop-up hub – Lush Land and The Connie Circus Tent. Featuring much-loved performers including Tina Del Twist (La Soiree), John O’Hara (#Val), Carpenters From Kempsey, Maureen Andrews (Shirley Bassey & Bette Midler), and a no-holds bard’ journey into depravity with Bent.

On Sunday 10 March, the Festival reaches peak frivolity when the much loved Chillout Parade takes over the main street of Daylesford for a magical hour long parade, followed by the highlight event, Chillout Carnival – a day loaded entertainment including Bob Downe, Art Simone and the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus. Then there’s the dog show, Freeza youth events, workshops, stalls galore, woodchop competition, the dog show and a few surprises…

The ChillOut Festival 2020 ambassador Katherine Wolfgramme, an out and proud transgender-woman, will 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 and takes place in Daylesford, Victoria from Thursday 5 to Monday 9 March 2020. For more information and full program, visit: www.chilloutfestival.com.au for details.

Image: 2019 ChillOut Parade (supplied)

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