ChillOut organisers have moved to expand the program of activities for next year’s festival, with a full four days of activities planned over the Labour Day weekend from March 5.

Traditionally the time for festival-goers to make the journey home, the Monday of next year’s festival will be a day packed with activities, tempting visitors to stay an extra night — or longer.

“This time the focus has really been on extending the festival to take in that extra day. We’ve never had a full program of events for the Monday before.

“ChillOut now extends from Friday lunchtime all the way through to Monday night,” festival associate producer Cara Dinley said.

“There have been quite a few more events added to give people things to do over that whole long weekend.”

Among those events is a diverse array of live performances from the likes of Renee Geyer, Anthony Menchetti and Mzzz Erin Tasmania, plus a two-day golf tournament presented by Mercedes Benz and the Novotel Forest Resort Creswick.

Former Victoria Police chief commissioner and longtime Victorian GLBTI community ally Christine Nixon will also attend the festival as a special guest.

“Christine will be present at the Slowest Lunch on the Friday, which is our major fundraiser for the worthy cause of the Fire Smart appeal. With all the work she’s doing with fire recovery, it really gives our commitment to this worthy cause more weight,” Dinley said.

While the list of performers for the festival’s centrepiece event, Carnival Day, is still being kept under wraps, Dinley said she was confident it would be the best line-up yet.

“Without giving too much away, we’ve got two headliners planned instead of one, so I think it’s really a step up,” she said.

“It’s important for us to have entertainment that will get older, younger, male and female audience members up and dancing in a party atmosphere, and I think the artists we have on offer at Carnival Day will definitely do that.”

With ChillOut now less than 12 weeks away, Dinley urged festival-goers to start planning their trip immediately.

“The main thing for people to focus on now is booking accommodation — good places always go fast, so you may miss out on your ideal place if you don’t act fast,” she said.

“Check out the ChillOut website, which has a list of accommodation providers. It’s going to be our biggest program yet, so I would say people should plan to stay for as long as they can.”

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