Birdsville to Big Red Bash

John Farnham The Big Red Bash Birdsville

After collecting our wrist bands, merchandise, fuel and last minute food supplies we joined everyone else on our way out to Big Red. It is a 39km drive and only took us about half an hour.

We purchased the 2 day early camping so we could relax into it and get all set up.

The organisers graded the sand to make roads in a semi circular layout and although you didn’t really have any restrictions on how much space you needed you just needed to be reasonable.

We were in section 38, one row back from the entertainment and one row in front of the toilets and grey water disposal. You can’t tip any grey water onto the ground. So it must all be collected into buckets and then tipped into the grey water disposal containers. They had trucks collecting it all day long. Truck after truck going backwards and forwards to Birdsville.

I have to say the volunteers did an amazing job in keeping things running. This year they had waterless toilets and hand sanatizer. They were kept very clean and well stocked. Surprisingly for the amount of people attending (almost 10,000) there was very little smell.

They had entertainment for the early campers or you could just sit back and relax. The choice was yours. You could, as some did, sand surf down big red all day long, take a helicopter ride or take a camel ride. There were many other things to do, just too many to list.

I bought Mal and Laraine Leyland’s books and managed to meet them and I was very excited. I remember the show “Ask the Leyland Brothers” very well and always had a dream that I would one day want to travel and explore our beautiful country.

There were many food stalls plus stalls with people selling 4×4 gear and retailers showcasing their products.

The RFDS Drag Races were just hilarious. So funny seeing all these men dressed up coming down Big Red.

I even participated in the Guiness World Record for the largest Nutbush dance. The final count was 1719 people. Can you imagine 1719 people doing the Nutbush in the desert. It really was fabulous.

The artists who performed over the three days were so entertaining. As I’m from Adelaide and of course The Angels were originally from Adelaide, I was fortunate to have them play at my high school social around 1976/77. I have loved the Angels music ever since. I am saddened that I couldn’t see Doc Neeson again but I do think Dave Gleeson gave the most amazing performance.

The Black Sorrows were just fabulous. Joe Camilleri always gives a brilliant performance. He then asked the lovely Kate Ceberano to join him on stage.

It was the first time we had seen Kate Ceberano perform live (apart from Jesus Christ Superstar) and we really enjoyed her performance. She knows how to command an audience.

The ever talented Russell Morris, I loved listening to him in the 70’s and I loved listening to him here. Such a wonderful entertainer.

John Farnham another person from my youth. He just gets better and better. I first saw him perform in the 70’s on Glenelg Beach, then again in Jesus Christ Superstar. He just keeps getting better.

After the third day of the concert, most people headed off the next morning. We were watching how slow the exit was for them and we made a decision to stay another night and leave first thing the following morning. The journey back to Birdsville was slower only because we had our rubbish to drop off at the dump. Refill our water tanks from the taps at the Bronco Yards and use the dump point. The longest wait was once again getting fuel. I tried the Birdsville bakery again to see if we could purchase anything and once again we missed out. They were completely sold out of everything. So we still haven’t managed to sample the bakery items there. Such a shame!

The original Birdsville hotel and current one.

I would highly recommend anyone considering the Big Red Bash to just do it. You won’t be disappointed. If you have camping gear then obviously camping at Big Red is the best. You can camp at the Birdsville Caravan Park and day trip there and back. There are no showers at the site. So you need to have one on board, take the shuttle bus back to Birdsville or just use wet wipes.

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