CoastOut at Coffs!Festival director Todd Buttery explains his vision for Coast Out at Coffs Harbour

When Todd Buttery returned to his hometown of Coffs Harbour in 2008 he discovered that the region was looking for new events to welcome people to the Coffs Coast. “As I had a concept of a ‘Lesbian & Gay Beach festival’ floating around in my head – it was a perfect fit at the right time!” Et Voila! Coast Out festival was born.

“Coast Out is a platform for people from all walks of life to come together for a fabulous and fun weekend on the Coffs Coast. Coast Out has also been a catalyst for social change on the Coffs Coast, a safe space where people from all walks of life can relax, enjoy and have some fun along the way.”

Now in its third year, Todd says the festival has  “settled” into the events that people have responded to well and have enjoyed in the past two years. “We’ve listened to the feedback and we’ve streamlined the 3 days into a great mix of social, fun and interactive moments while at the same time providing fabulous entertainment!”

He believes that Coffs is a great destination for intrepid LGBT tourists as  “it is one of the untouched areas in the country”.

“Within a close radius of Coast Out headquarters you can be in heritage-listed rainforests, scuba dive around the Solitary Islands, walk for miles on pristine white sand beaches. There’s no traffic jams, bustling noise or a rat race to contend with. It’s so relaxing and peaceful.”

He hopes that visitors to Coast Out will come away with a “myriad of magic moments”.

“It’s where the city meets country but on the beach! People have found a partner, made great friends and experienced a festival unlike no other. We’d love people to take away great memories and a bunch of joy! That we hope will come from things like hearing Monique Brumby’s new tracks, Miss S and Radio INK perform and dancing along with Kate Monroe at the Dance Party! “

Asked to describe the festival Todd’s response is instant: “Three days of new experiences where there is something for everyone. Be prepared to have an awesome FUN weekend! “

Todd believes events like Coast Out are of paramount importance to the LGBT community.

“Having an LGBT festival in this part of regional NSW has seen a shift in our community’s perception and understanding of our community. To be awarded the “Community Event of the Year” at the Australia Day awards this year has shown in two years that we have given the wider community an understanding of our culture, the way we celebrate and interact within society. Coast Out also provides a platform for the Coffs Coast LGBT community and our friends and families to interact with people outside of our region and for visitors to experience a festival in a relaxed beachside setting. A Win/Win we reckon!