We rattled into Daylesford on a chilly morning just in time to catch the coffee shops opening for breakfast.
First thing we noticed was all the rainbow decorations adorning storefronts and monuments throughout the town.
Turns out Daylesford is the self proclaimed LGBTI regional capital of Australia. And it is just about to celebrate with its annual Queer Country Pride festival known as the Chillout Festival.
“Isn’t this cool?” I said to Kelly. “To see a country town get behind celebrations such as this…you would never have seen something like this in a rural town say 10 years ago”.
Turns out I was wrong. The first Chillout Festival was held in 1997 and although there was a modest turn out, the event grew very quickly after that.
Today the festival runs over 5 days and includes an all night Disco, cocktail party, circus and theatre shows, and aims to “promote and encourage tolerance, understanding and inclusion of the LGBTI community through arts, cultural activities and events; promoting and supporting LBGTI expression in Regional Victoria.“