The Big Red Bash

What is The Big Red Bash?

It’s a 3 day music festival in one of the most remote places on the planet. It is held each July under the shadow of the most famous of Australia’s mighty sand dunes, Big Red.

The site has been nicknamed ‘Bashville’ and sits on the dry lakebed of Lake Nappanerica on Adria Downs Station near Birdsville, Queensland. Adria Downs Station, owned for over 80 years by the Brook Family, is an organic beef producer of Hereford beef. The property is 8,700 square kilometres in size.

The dry lake bed is graded and leveled each year and marked out by surveyors into a large arc shape with marked pedestrian walkways and roads. Front and centre is the huge stage and directly in front of that, facing Big Red, is the concert area. This area is fenced off and opens each day of the festival to allow people to bring their chairs and other paraphernalia and set up for the concert.

Behind the concert area is The Plaza. This arc is home to the food vendors, merchandise tents, The Crackup Sisters ‘house’ and a smaller stage for events such as the Air Guitar Competition, the finish of the Drag Race and fashion parade.

Behind that in ever-widening arcs are the large campsites, each marked out with little flags.

The ‘Bash’ has had most of Australia’s iconic musicians and singers perform over the years since the very first concert by John Williamson in July 2013. John played to about 600 people atop of Big Red to entertain the runners and volunteers of the Big Red Run, a 250km long desert run created by Greg Donovan to raise funds for Type 1 Diabetes research.

The event has gone on to see John Farnham, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Lee Kernaghan as headline acts. They’ve performed for progressively bigger crowds and in 2021 10,000 people are expected to ‘rock in the Simpson’.

The Big Red Bash has added other events to the program over the years such as the Drag Race, a race down Big Red by people dressed in drag, the Air Guitar Competition, the world record attempt at the number of people doing the ‘Nutbush and all of these events have an entry fee. The funds raised from these fun events all goes to The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Each year tens of thousands of dollars is given to RFDS to help keep them providing their vital service to outback patients.

So what is The Big Red Bash? It’s basically a big party of campers who come in all their variety of RV’s to camp in one of the most spectacular places in the outback and attend the most remote music festival in the world.


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