As the in-coming Festival Director for the nationally celebrated ChillOut Festival, Michele Bauer had a clear vision of how she wanted the festival to unfold in the new decade.

As Australia’s longest running and largest regional pride festival, Bauer understood that to ensure its continued cultural significance, ChillOut needed to shift to being more than just a celebration of regional LGBTIQ communities.

That shift is a clear direction in creating content which encourages diversity and catering to more savvy audiences. The festival in 2020 aims to contribute more to the health and wellbeing that people aspire to.

“Statistically, the LGBTIQ community are at greater risk,” Bauer shares. “ChillOut wants to be a positive influence by offering programming that supports a healthier community, and we are working to create a more positive narrative.”

Bauer acknowledges that the unique appeal of Daylesford as a wellness destination, and the home of ChillOut, supports attendees feeling uplifted and included. “Daylesford as a community is one that is very accepting,” she says, “which is testament to why we have such a diverse array of attendees coming from near and far to celebrate at ChillOut. We hope to see more diversity in 2020 and beyond.”

“There will always be a party aspect to any pride festival,” Bauer shares. “However, the LGBTIQ community has gone through much change over the past 50 years. ChillOut aims to be a positive force alongside these changes in a way that supports the wellbeing of everyone within it.”

A key event in the festival program for 2020 is an official Book of Records attempt for Australia’s Largest Human Rainbow. The Daylesford attempt to create this Australian Record will be “a collective symbol of solidarity and acceptance for the LGBTIQ community”.

“We’d show the world that Australians, and regionally based Australians at that, truly stand for and believe in equality and diversity.”

The ChillOut Festival is calling for 10,000 community members, allies, families, and supporters to come together at Victoria Park in Daylesford on Saturday 7th March at 2pm to celebrate. This event is family-friendly, dog-friendly and an accessible event.


March 5-9 2020

ChillOut Street Parade. Photograph by Michelle Dunn

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Lee Sandwith
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A freelance photographer based in Kyneton, Australia.