Perfect weather drew scores of revellers to Victoria’s Hepburn Shire over the weekend to celebrate regional LGBTI festival ChillOut.

The four-day event raised $25,000 for the local State Emergency Service (SES), with just under $20,000 donated a

t fundraiser foodie event The Slowest Lunch, held at Sault restaurant.

ChillOut president Michael Brady said 6500 people walked through the gates of Victoria Park, Daylesford on sunny Carnival Day on Sunday and many events throughout the weekend sold out.

“We’re just rapt with how it went,” Brady told the Star Observer. “It was a relief because of the rain over the last two years.

“The Carnival is where ticket sales money goes to next year’s festival, so it’s fantastic we had such good crowds.”

The pride march, led by Dykes on Bikes, along Vincent St in Daylesford’s town centre was well attended. Parade entrants made the most of a pirate theme with Jack Sparrow-inspired outfits the order of the day.

Key events, the bush dance and the dance party, both held at Daylesford Town Hall, were also successful.

Brady said the first ChillOut country race day at Kyneton Park racetrack was well patronised and is likely to become a festival fixture.

Most feedback about the event has been positive, however, one punter registered his displeasure at a ban on glass at Carnival Day.

Brady said the festival was required to impose the ban to adhere to the terms of its liquor licence.

“It’s about our patrons’ safety, we can’t have smashed glass about the place,” he said.

“I think people need to acknowledge if you go to any ticketed public event in Victoria, it’s the same everywhere.”

The ChillOut committee will set up an online survey in coming days for people who attended to provide feedback for next year’s festival.

INFO: www.chilloutfestival.com.au

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