PROFILE: Max Primmer
Max Primmer had never been to Daylesford until he attend ChillOut Festival in 2003.
We came up here and it was just like absolute heaven. Even though in Melbourne I went to a lot of the gay clubs, I never ever felt threatened, never felt unsafe in Melbourne ... When we drove in off the Western Freeway through Ballan, came in through the forest and the smell of gums ... and we came into town and there were rainbow flags, and that was just like unbelievable that there were so many rainbow flags.
Max was impressed with everything about Daylesford and ChillOut. As he remembers: ‘I think we went to every event ... because it was just the excitement of being here, and the fact that there were so many other LGBT people in town.’
Returning to Melbourne at the end of the festival, Max decided that Daylesford was the place for him.
So at the end of that first week after I came back from ChillOut, I came back here [Daylesford] on the Saturday and rented a house. It was just like an instant thing that I knew this area was safe, it was comfortable. It’s got a whole aura about it, this whole town has.
It was not long after moving, that Max found himself on the ChillOut committee.
I came here in March 2003 and by the end of 2003 I was already on the committee ... It just made my whole year. I’d moved to this fantastic town and now I was suddenly part of the committee of one of the big events in town.
Max remained on the committee for a number of years, watching the festival grow and change. When he left, it was to allow new people on to the committee to help keep ideas and energy fresh, not because he was burned out or fed up. ‘I’d go back on the committee any time because it is just such a buzz’, he comments, ‘and you know that you’ve done something good for your own community’.
Moving to Daylesford and getting involved with ChillOut has been something that Max has never regretted. He whole-heartedly embraced his new home and the Daylesford and ChillOut community welcomed him with equal enthusiasm. This openness, enthusiasm and welcoming attitude is part of what makes ChillOut such a special event to Max.
Because it’s in my hometown apart from anything else ... the fact that it’s here, that we can involve so many people from around the country, from overseas ... and because the shops are all involved now, the whole street is lined with rainbow flags, and just the look on people’s faces, the enjoyment that you can see people getting.
While no longer on the ChillOut committee, Max is still an active participant in the festival as himself and via his alter ego, Miss Di Alysis. Never one to miss out on a chance to dress up, Max has built a reputation for his parade day outfits (a well guarded and much anticipated secret until parade day), which have become bigger and better every year. ‘I’m just really, really thrilled that I’ve been able to be part of the ground-breaking efforts of ChillOut over the years ... and the fact that I get to dress-up.’
All quotes taken from an interview with Max Primmer, 18 December 2017.