By ANDIE NOONAN & NICK BOND
It was one of the wettest ChillOut festivals on record. Daylesford copped rain and hail, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of those attending the four-day festival.
ChillOut president Adam Wright hailed the festival a success, despite the rain.
“We were watching the weather reports all week and we’re happy people came out to support the festival under the circumstances,” he told Southern Star.
“I think the numbers were slightly down on last year but it was definitely still rocking.”
ChillOut’s annual fundraising lunch at Sault Restaurant on Friday set a new fundraising record with over $22,000 raised for the CFA Glenlyon Group.
Attendance at Friday night’s Bush Dance in Hepburn Springs was down on previous years and many of the outdoor events succumbed to the extreme weather, but other indoor activities drew huge crowds.
Sunday morning saw Daylesford’s main street lined with an eclectic mix of visiting queers and local straight families cheering on the street parade.
Top marks to Millie Minogue, seen teetering on the back of a truck dressed as a naughty nun (complete with sky-high heels) and looking glamorous as she waved to the crowd.
At the festival’s biggest event, Carnival Day, headlining singer-songwriter Deborah Conway delivered an appropriately chilled-out set while Dance act Black Dogs featuring Zoe Badwi gave audiences a crowd-pleasing set of hits.
The crowds flocked to many of the festival’s arts events, including cabaret performances by Anthony Menchetti, Erin Tasmania and Dolly Diamond.
Sunday night’s dance party drew a huge crowd, following the festival’s tradition as the biggest sell-out event. Badwi lifted the room with an anthemic cover of Kelly Rowland’s When Love Takes Over.