ChillOut Festival returning to celebrate queer country pride in 2021

chillout festival 2020 festival daylesford victoria pride festival lgbtiq

Australia’s longest-running and biggest regional LGBTIQ pride festival, ChillOut in Daylesford, Victoria has announced its 2021 plans.

The festival is on every year in Daylesford, Victoria, around 108 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.

Across two weeks from February 27 to March 8 next year, the festival will transform the Central Highlands of Victoria into “Queer Country”.

Earlier this year, the ChillOut Festival was the last major event many attended, just days before Victoria and other states implemented COVID lockdowns.

Festival Director Michele Bauer said she’s looking forward to seeing everyone again in the new year.

“It has been a long year. We hope that knowing ChillOut is going ahead will give our community something to look forward to,” she said.

“As with everything, it will look and feel a bit different. However it will be an amazing ChillOut Festival.”

While the festival’s Carnival event won’t go ahead, organisers will incorporate elements of it into the COVID-safe street parade.

Mass tree planting at the 2021 ChillOut Festival

Festivalgoers can also gather at Lake Daylesford on March 3 to help plant of 30 trees in the festival’s “Grove of Gratitude”.

The initiative is to honour past and present community members as well as a special ceremony.

Michele Bauer explained the community planting is “an enduring and natural reflection of LGBTIQ+ gratitude.”

“Daylesford has always held a special place in the hearts of the LGBTIQ+ community,” she said.

“It is a magical, transformative place. This gesture is living memorial for everyone to enjoy and reflect upon.”

chillout festival 2020 human rainbow photo

Sneak preview of the 2021 festival program

ChillOut is an all-inclusive, family-friendly event celebrating the “diversity and positivity” of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The 24th annual festival will deliver ten days of events curated to bring joy and colour in a safe environment.

Organisers are planning a diverse selection of wellbeing activities, a special Queer Health Expo, family-friendly theatre, arts events and more.

Award-winning podcast and live storytelling project Queerstories, hosted by Maeve Marsden, will also debut in Daylesford.

ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas is also the festival’s 2021 Ambassador. During the festival, the RN Drive and ABC News presenter will host a special in-conversation event.

Organisers will announce the full ChillOut Festival 2021 program soon.

ChillOut Festival is in Daylesford, Victoria from Saturday, February 27 to Monday, March 8. Tickets go on sale in early January 2021. Find out more at

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