Last weekend’s ChillOut Festival smashed some of its own personal attendance records, attracting thousands of people for its 15th year in operation.
The Street Parade and Carnival Day, both major events for the weekend-long festival, attracted huge numbers in Daylesford.
For the parade, organisers said the streets were at capacity, while Carnival day racked up about an estimated 7,500 attendees this year at Victoria Park – 2,000 more than the event last year.
Festival director Simone Gordon told the Star Observer this year’s carnival day was “brilliant”.
“I think we cracked a few records as far as crowd numbers go, ever,” she said.
Free activities were offered at the Carnival Day this year, on top of the live entertainment, which Gordon credited with part of the day’s success.
One of those activities was the public art project that saw children and adults help create a three-metre high cow sculpture which was then paraded around the festival grounds.
“From one o’clock onwards, people could join in and help create the cow and then they got it done just in time for a lap of honour while Stereogamous were playing which was fantastic,” Gordon said.
She said a new ticketing system for the festival made life easier for visitors to work out what they wanted to do.
“It was a big improvement, which was good news, and I think a lot of that comes down to the fact we had our information out early and we revamped a few things that just made it more consumable-friendly,” she said.
“There were a number of people who hadn’t been to ChillOut for a number of years and came back this year and they just had a ball.”
Both the official Dance Party and the Bush Dance sold out before the night, leaving no tickets available on the door.
The impact of ChillOut reaches wider than just the LGBTI community, Gordon said, and has does more than just boost the local economy.
“For us, I guess, it’s about creating that awareness and for people to understand people can live side by side… and it just brings a great atmosphere to Daylesford and it’s nice we can be on show and show off what we have up here.”