Big Red Bash 2021 – Day 1

Apparently an Air Guitar competition was held in the morning however I didn’t go down to The Plaza for that one. I did go down to watch the Crackup Sisters show again. The show was completely different to the previous day with lots of hula hooping and whip cracking. Those girls are very clever.

This day was the first day of the music festival and our group set up our chairs and stuff in the concert area about 12.30pm in time for the Official Opening and Welcome to Country. We got out our beach cart, loaded our chairs, drinks and warm jackets for later and wheeled it to the concert area. It was easier than carrying it.

The Welcome to Country included a half hour video that followed the adventures of local Aboriginal Elder, Don Rowlands, as he took members of his family into the Simpson Desert to tell them Dreamtime Stories and share in the knowledge of their ancestors. It was a lovely family story and I’m glad that Don is sharing his knowledge, culture and language with his family so that it won’t be lost.

The Crackup Sisters were the MC’s for the day and they were also the interim entertainment between music acts.

It was a hot sunny afternoon but once the sun went down it rapidly became cold and I was very glad of my Big Red Bash microfibre blanket to keep me snug. The atmosphere in the concert area was amazing. Everyone was careful to maintain social distancing by keeping groups apart and 2 metres from the row in front. Even in the ‘mosh pit’ area at the front of the stage people kept apart from each other. We enjoyed the music of The Chantoozies, Eurogliders, rocked to Sarah McCloud and enjoyed the mellow sounds of Busby Marou.

During the performance by Busby Marou it was time for Richard and I to make our way to our booked Helicopter ride. The heli landing area was way over the other side of Bashville and took about 15 minutes to walk there. When we arrived the flights were running a bit late so we had to wait. Our original time was 4.59pm and we eventually got on the chopper at 5.20pm. It was perfect really as the sun was going down and the sand hills really glowed in that light.

The chopper pilot was Hylton Ward whom we had met in Winton when we were on a tour with Red Dirt Tours run by Hylton’s wife Vicki. Hylton had sat up the back of the bus with us and he remembered meeting us. I’m sure we got a lot longer than the 12 minutes we’d paid for. It was worth every cent.

The Bashville site looks so incredible from the air. It is enormous and almost filled to capacity. There was even a new section that had to be created to fit in all the campers. It was easy to see the arc shape of the site from the air with the main stage front and centre. In front of the main stage is a large open space called the ‘Concert Area’. This is where festival goers bring their camp chairs and set up to listen to the music. On either side of the concert area is a long block of composting toilets. In the arc behind the concert area is The Plaza. This is where all the food vans and merchandise vendors are set up. It is also home to the the Medical Centre, the Covid Testing Tent and the Admin Marquee. The Crackup Sisters ‘house’ and a mini stage are also in this area. Behind The Plaza are ever widening arcs of camp sites.

By the time we got back to our chairs in the concert area the sun had gone down and we got to enjoy the music of the Black Sorrows and
Chocolate Starfish. Chocolate Starfish were brilliant. Their set was called ‘Best of the Best” and they played covers of many famous songs from the likes of Queen, Meatloaf and others. What a great voice their lead singer has!

It had been a fabulous start to the Big Red Bash.


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