‘My only strategy is just to keep going’: Kate Miller-Heidke goes from strength to strength at ChillOut

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‘My only strategy is just to keep going’: Kate Miller-Heidke goes from strength to strength at ChillOut

Kate Miller-Heidke

Regional Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ home base, Daylesford, offers more music, dancing, and fun than ever before over the Labour Day weekend.

This year marks the 25th edition of the ChillOut Festival in Daylesford, a celebration of the thriving LGBTQIA+ arts community in the gay capital of Victoria!

The festival is back with a bigger line-up than ever before, featuring performances from Art Simone from Drag Race Down Under and the viral TikTok star Rudy Jean Rigg over Labour Day weekend.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

However, the biggest name on the bill is the one and only Kate Miller-Heidke, who headlines the festival’s closing day event, Carnivale, in Rainbow Square on Sunday, 12th March 2023.

Kate has recently completed the tour cycle for her fifth studio album, Child In Reverse, which hit the ARIA Top 10 and included a range of singles, most notably, Simpatico featuring Mallrat.


Being unanimously chosen by jury and public as Australia’s 2019 Eurovision Song Contest certainly made Kate a household name. Her performance of the original piece Zero Gravity won first place in the semi-final, and a top ten spot in the Grand Final, along with the Marcel Bezançon Award for Artistic Achievement.

All of this, in turn, led to a much-needed break that Kate is currently taking beachside, but she was kind enough to interrupt for a chat with Beat ahead of her ChillOut appearance.

We begin by revelling in the fact that live performances and festivals like ChillOut are well and truly back. “It feels like something I’ll never take for granted again,” says Kate, “live performance (from the stage and from the audience) is my version of church – it’s the opposite of feeling lonely.” 

This year’s ChillOut theme is Find Your Wings, a fitting match for the soaring pop, folk, musical theatre and opera blend of Miller-Heidke’s sound. The headlining spot is not an honour that the 17-time ARIA Award-nominated artist takes for granted.

“I’m incredibly honoured! It means so much to me to be welcomed by the queer community. I can’t wait. I just know the vibe will be fabulous.

“ChillOut has an amazing reputation, I’d heard about it for years from friends who have been and I’d always wanted to go, so being asked to headline was a real treat. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”

Festival appearance aside, Kate most recently collaborated with Marcus Bridge from Northlane for the Last King of the Cross TV series soundtrack, an unlikely pairing that has created something special.

“A TV producer put it to me that my song Last Day on Earth could work as a much harder song in collaboration with a metal singer. I’ve always loved crossing genres and reinventing songs.

“Marcus was my first choice of collaborator, he’s one of the best singers I’ve ever heard and hearing his death growling/screaming up close was an unforgettable experience. So dramatic!”

The collaboration can arguably be considered less strange for a diverse artist with a now 20-plus-year career that has touched and melded various genres seamlessly.

As Miller-Heidke discusses, longevity is rare in the music business, especially for women. “I feel truly grateful about it. Having impeccable management is definitely a big factor. Also, I have a fairly diverse musical background, so have been able to dip my toes into opera, TV and theatre as a performer and a composer. Job security is not a thing in this industry, so my only strategy is just to keep going! So far, it’s worked out pretty well.”

The remainder of the year sees Miller-Heidke working on large theatre productions, including a ballet and an original musical. She is also working on Muriel’s Wedding the Musical overseas and a new solo project, “it’s still early days for new music, but I’m very excited about it!”

For now, your best bet for a dose of Kate Miller-Heidke is at ChillOut Festival, which runs from the 9th – 13th of March 2023 in Daylesford, Victoria. The line-up boasts a huge range of shows, events and more and tickets are now on sale, including various glamping options to help you enjoy the weekend in style. 

Check out the full program here.