LGBTI pride celebrations are thriving in country Victoria, with Shepparton getting set to host its third Out in the Open festival later this year.
The festival grew out of a local LGBTI youth group looking to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the community, and has become a major public event on the town’s calendar.
The festival follows in the footsteps of other regional LGBTI events like ChillOut in Daylesford, which attracts huge crowds from Melbourne and the broader Victorian LGBTI communities.
Out in the Open organisers have said the Shepparton festival aims to be more youth-focused than ChillOut, making both the events part of a breadth of LGBTI culture in rural Victoria.
Despite attendance continuing to grow over the past few years, north-east Victoria’s Spring Migration festival set to be held in Yackandandah later this month looked like it could be the last incarnation of the ten-year-old festival.
Organiser Gary Hayward told the Star Observer that after each festival he thinks it will be the last, every year they do it anyway.