A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

Big Red Bash | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

The Birdsville Big Red Bash might be the world’s most remote music festival, but don’t let the distance put you off.

It’s far from desolate, which may come as a surprise considering you’ll find it on the edge of the Simpson Desert.

Since its inauguration, this family (and dog) friendly music festival has grown in size, drawing over 9000-people to this corner of Queensland.

If you’ve ever wanted to rock out in the desert, we have everything you need to know about this music festival with a difference.


How many people go?

Big Red Bash 2019 | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

For a town that normally has 100 people to its name, Birdsville … or the desert just behind Birdsville does a great job of swelling to accommodate the 9000-odd crowd who come each July.


When is it?

Big Red Bash 2019 | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

This three-day music festival, falls within the July school holiday period (7-9 July 2020) – when the days are cooler and families have enough time to make the journey out.


Where is it?

Big Red Bash 2019 | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

The festival takes place on Big Red, the 40m high dune (about the size of a 10 story building) and the first of over 1,000 dunes of the Simpson Desert.


Who should come?

Big Red Bash | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

The real question is who shouldn’t come. The Bash is perfect for families, couples, first time outback travellers, backpackers and grey nomads. It’s also pet-friendly, so no one needs to be left at home.


Who’s playing?

Big Red Bash 2019 | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

This year will see a stellar lineup with Australian music royalty Paul Kelly headlining the Big Red backdrop stage. He’ll be followed by a slate of other artists including Ian Miss, Kate Ceberano, and Thirsty Merc.


Where do I stay?

We hope you like camping, because The Bash is held on an organic cattle station, where camping comes complimentary with your ticket.

Camping in ‘Bashville’ might not have five stars in the traditional sense, but you’ll sleep under a million real ones.

No camping gear? No stress! There’s plenty of other options on offer including Rent-A-Tent to take the set up and set down out of your festival experience.


How to get there?

Big Red Bash 2018 | A first timer's guide to the Big Red Bash

If you’re the kind of person who thinks the journey is all part of the adventure, you’re going to love the road trip to Birdsville.

There’s no shortage of must-sees along the way:

  • From WA – be sure to stop off at Uluru
  • From Hobart – pay a visit to Griffith for an impromptu wine tour
  • From Brisbane – take in the view from Picnic Point Lookout
  • From Darwin – wallow in the thermal hot springs at Douglas Hot Springs
  • From Melbourne – stop off in Willandra National Park
  • From Sydney – stay the night at Bourke to experience Poetry on a Plate


What else is there to do besides The Bash?

Big Red Bash 2019 | A first-timers guide to the Birdsville Big Red Bash

#OutbackQueensland photo by @mrcourtneyatkinson

For a small town on the edge of the desert, Birdsville is anything but boring.

A visit to Birdsville isn’t complete without wrapping your laughing gear around a coldie from The Birdsville Hotel, an institution who’ve been pouring beers since 1884.

Feeling hot? Cool down at some of Birdsville’s favourite watering holes including the Diamantina River and Birdsville Billabong, the perfect place for a spot of kayaking, fishing or bird watching.

It doesn’t stop there; here’s our guide to the top 10 things to do in Birdsville.


Post Sponsored by Birdsville Big Red Bash.

For more information, visit www.bigredbash.com.au

Have you been to the Big Red Bash? What did you think?


Pam fraser

Am I able to buy 2 adult tickets to the big red bash? We are first timers and would dearly like to come.
Do you allow camp fires – and if so, do we have to bring our own wood.

Pam Luhrman

Hi, we have tickets including our dog, however, we are not bringing the dog now. Will we still be in the tent area with the dogs?

Outback Queensland

G’day Erika, you sure can. Many travellers to the event take their caravans. There’s plenty of ways to get to Birdsville, where you can take your pick of the roads depending on how confident you are with the road conditions.

Kirby Turner

Hi Looking Forward to the 2019 bash tickets being available.
As I`ll be a first timer, just a query is there any water supply/purchase facilities on site? or do you have to bring everything in you need.
If so is there anywhere in Birdsville where water can be provided/purchased?

Outback Queensland

Hi Kirby,

Best to bring water supplies with you to the Big Red Bash. Water can be purchased in town in Birdsville and bottled water can be purchased from some food vendors at the event.

Kate Stevenson

Hi how much money would I be looking at for the big red bash as I would be travelling from Brisbane.have never been before and would really love to enjoy the experience.cheers Kate.what would I need to bring with me.

Leanne Hamlyn

We are thinking of coming for the first time and would like to bring our dogs. How many dogs can we bring as we have 3?

Michelle Bowlen

Hello ? really looking forward to our first red bash. Just a few questions. Can you bring your own portable shower on ur camp site. And what do u reccomend wearing like its July does it get cold in the desert

Outback Queensland

G’day Michelle,
Yes you can bring your own shower but please be mindful that Bashville is held on an organic cattle property and therefore you’re not permitted to dispose of any grey water on the ground. If you’re unable to store and remove all your grey water, you can make use of the grey water disposal tanks at each toilet block. If doing this, bring a 20L container to carry your grey water to the nearest disposal tank.

The days in July are lovely, but can get warm in the sun. Nights can drop below zero degrees, so we recommend rugging up with your best winter woolies and building a great camp fire.


We desperately would love to go but we are not sure if the trip would be too rugged for our brand new car and caravan. We are not worried about dirt but how rough a drive is it please coming from Sydney via QLD.

Outback Queensland

G’day Katrina,
The road from Windorah to Birdsville is about 100km of sealed followed by another 300km of unsealed roads. Majority of travellers to the event take caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers on this road. You can check with the Birdsville Information Centre for the latest road conditions on 07 4564 2000.


Make sure you have a full width mud flap across the back of you vehicle and some cardboard box taped over the back window. 100mph tape. Protect from rocks bouncing back off the gravel roads. Also, don’t try and overtake the road trains as they are pulling off to the side of the road. Only moving over for one coming the other way. UHF radio, seek permission to overtake up the left or right. Table drains overtaking is permitted. Definitely a different world.


Hi there. We have a road caravan and would love to attend. Is it possible to get there via sealed roads from Sydney?

Outback Queensland

G’day Scott,

While most of our mains roads here in Outback Queensland are fully sealed. To reach Birdville for the event you do need to travel via unsealed roads. If driving west from Windorah, you will encounter approximately 300km of unsealed roads. If travelling from Bedourie, you will encounter approximately 60km of unsealed roads. Check our maps to see all the ways to get to Birdsville.


Hi, I assume there is no power for caravans on site. Are gen sets allowed for limited time periods. Yes we do have solar panels…



Hi, we are looking forward to going and will have our 2 young children with us. On that note, are the camp sites broken into family friendly/pet friendly/ “single loud male” divisions or is it luck of the draw who you’re next to?

Dave barron

Hi , i hope to be a first timer next year, has there been any form of theft over the years.

daniel jones

I understand tht you are not allowed to drive up BIG red during the gig.When does this restriction begin.Thanks Lyn

Outback Queensland

G’day Lyn,

This is correct, information about the restriction will be available closer to the event date.

Outback Queensland

G’day Wayne,

There are no single day tickets due to the nature and location of the event.

Shaun Patterson

Looking foreword to the Bash.
Will we have to go to town for ice or will you guys be selling it at the bash?.
Do you guys have fire pits there or do we bring our own?

Outback Queensland

G’day Mate,

Yes you can buy ice both in town or at the event. Fire pits are not provided, so we recommend bringing your own if you wish. You can also buy extra firewood if needed on site.


Hi as a first timer am curious. I gather you have public toilet blocks around the place walking distance from camps .. do you have showers also?

Outback Queensland

G’day mate,

There are public toilet blocks on site within walking distance to all campsites. Unfortunately, there are no shower facilities, so you have the option of providing your own shower facilities or travelling back into Birdsville to use the public shower blocks for a small donation to a local charity.


Does the event book out? We really want to go but unsure at this stage and don’t want to buy tickets and not be able to get there due to work roster commitments? Is there a refund on tickets/ If so within what time frame please?

Gaye Bodey

Further to this query,if we don’t have the refund /booking protection,we don’t get our money back,if for some reason the event is cancelled due weather etc.We have travelled to Birdsville and are aware of the road conditions etc

Outback Queensland

G’day Gaye,

We suggest for further queries about ticket protection to get in contact with the Big Red Bash via their website.