Preparations for this year’s ChillOut festival are going up a notch this week as the 2010 Festival Guide hits the streets and tickets to the March long weekend’s key events go on sale.

Sydney Star Observer can also exclusively reveal the identity of the two musical headliners who’ll perform at Carnival Day: singer-songwriter Deborah Conway and dance act Blackdogs featuring Zoe Badwi and DJ Mark John.

“Both Zoe and Deborah are tremendous entertainers for us to have performing, and what’s really great is that both of them fit into completely different genres,” ChillOut president Adam Wright said.

Conway and Badwi are just two perfomers in ChillOut’s rich arts and entertainment program — from the soul sounds of Renée Geyer to the cheeky cabaret of Mzz Erin Tasmania and Anthony Menchetti.

“We try to have something for everyone, and it can be a real challenge trying to satisfy our diverse community. But I think we do a really good job,” Wright said.

“If you look through the guide and you see all the different events being held over the long weekend, there’s stuff there that’ll satisfy our lesbian sisters, our gay boys, and everyone in between. It’s also quite diverse from a costing point of view — from free and very cheap activities right up to more high-end events.

“And we’ve also expanded the length of the program itself to include a full day of events on the Monday.”

The release of the Festival Guide, and this year’s expanded program, should also dispel any lingering worry people may have had about the viability of the festival after the surprise end of ChillOut’s contract with the Adam Lowe Group event management team back in December.

And with the release of the Festival Guide traditionally causing a flurry of interest from those keen to attend, Wright said now is the time to get organised.

“People need to book accommodation quickly. There is a diverse range available, from camping and caravan parks to boutique B&Bs, but it fill up very quickly, so this would be the time to sort that out.

“There’s also a special deal available on our website — book four nights over the ChillOut weekend and you get the fifth night free.”

There are limited spaces still available for retail and community stallholders on Carnival Day, but they are also filling fast. And with tickets for key festival events available now via the festival website, Wright urged punters to book early.

“Dance Party tickets always, always, always sell out, so buy them first. And while you’re getting them, you may as well buy your Carnival Day tickets. You get a bit of a discount pre-purchasing them, but you also get to skip the ticket line on the day, which can be quite long.”

The ChillOut Festival will be held across Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in just over six weeks, from March 5-8.

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