With three epic nights of music, dancing and all-around enjoyment right at the edge of the Simpson Desert in Birdsville, the Big Red Bash keeps getting bigger and better. But as always, it’s the journey, not the destination that makes this worthwhile and as one of the major sponsors of the BRB, the team here at REDARC have learnt a thing or two about what it takes to ensure you have the best, most authentic Australian Outback adventure possible.
Here we give you 13 things to consider when planning to head to the Big Red Bash:
Probably the most important aspect of any travel is, of course, having enough fuel to get there. If travelling from Sydney, Birdsville is around 1,900 km so allow 2.5 days drive.
From Brisbane, it's 1,600 km so you will want to allow 2 days driving and if you’re travelling from Adelaide allow 1.5 days drive.
Make sure to fill up a full tank before you depart and pack an extra jerry can or two for any emergencies because there is nothing worse than being left stranded in the middle of nowhere.
2. Food tips
For many of us, the drive there is going to take over a day, so it’s a no-brainer to stock up that portable esky, freezer or fridge with lots of food and water for the journey ahead. The Big Red Bash will also have plenty of food and drink stalls on hand.
One tip is to make large batches of your favourite meals and freeze ahead of time. As this event takes place in July, in the middle of Winter, it’s the perfect time to prepare your favourite comfort foods.
We're talking stews, casseroles, soups or even chilli con carne that could be divided into large plastic bags and then defrost each day for dinner. What’s more, they make for great base dishes, so you can serve with rice to fill out. The other benefit of storing your meals in plastic bags rather than containers is that once you’re done there is no clean-up required when you get home and you don’t have to worry about where to store your dirty containers on the way home.
Check out our three C’s of Travel blog for more tips.
One of life’s luxuries, a hot cuppa in the morning
Nothing cools you down during the day better than an ice cold beer, and equally, nothing warms you up as you prepare for the festivities ahead with your favourite glass of vino!
Just note, however, that the BRB is a family-friendly concert so don’t go overboard and load up on booze because you will be removed.
And for those driving back from the concert to their campsite or accommodation… be aware there will be the Queensland police conducting breath tests and there is only one way out of the venue.
Unless you are going to stay at a caravan park - the closest one being 35km away from BRB and likely sold out - then you want to ensure your battery system and solar is in tip-top shape as there will be no power onsite at the campsite.
When it comes to considering what you want to run from your auxiliary battery system, it is as much about being efficient with power as it is storing or generating lots of power. With advances in fridge and lighting technology, there’s no need to have excessively power-hungry devices just to keep the beer cold and the campsite lit. More efficient loads can drastically reduce your power consumption.
So with that said, you’re going to need a decent dual battery setup that is going to power you through the journey there, onsite and the journey back. We recommend the use of portable solar panels and solar blankets to get an extra boost of power from solar to your house and/or auxiliary battery. Couple this with a dual battery system, and you will be virtually self-sufficient.
If you decide to have a campfire – and why wouldn’t you – then you will need to bring your own firewood. This will of course add weight to your vehicle setup so make sure to plan carefully.
No chainsaws are permitted, and you cannot collect timber from Adria Downs. Also keep campfires to a modest size in the interest of safety and the comfort of others.
Getting warm by the campfire
6. Flashlight or Headtorch
Apart from lighting for the concert area and the main plaza where the food stalls, merchandise and expo stands are located, there is not going to be much in the way of lighting for general campsite or day parking areas.
You could try to navigate your way around at night via the stars and moon above, but we think a more practical way is to bring a flashlight or head torch with you. That way when the concert ends you can make your way back safely to your campsite, as the ground in the camping area can be rough or have holes in some places.
This should be higher on the list, but we reckon it’s a given that you will bring this with you anyway. This will be your chance to capture the stunning outback colours and spectacular locations this great land of ours has to offer. Not to mention you will want to capture moments of the concert and all the fun and excitement around you.
In recent years, the use of drones has become popular for capturing Australia’s beauty, but at the Big Red Bash this is strictly not allowed, so best you keep it at home.
The Big Red Bash is set in an iconic location in the Simpson Desert against the Big Red Dune as the stage backdrop.
The Big Red dune itself, known as Nappanerica, is close to 40 metres high and makes the most spectacular natural stage backdrop in Australia. By day there are many people up on the dune enjoying the sweeping desert vista, as well as kids (and some adults!) surfing down it on boogie boards, or even cardboard and esky lids. By night it’s a huge natural canvas that makes for a spectacular lighting and effects show as the festivities on the stage kick on.
What could beat a view like this?
There is no shelter available at the Bash, so you will want to take some sort of shelter with you like an awning or gazebo to protect you from the sun.
Don’t forget to take your normal slip, slop, slap and slide gear as well.
And at a place this remote, it’s anyone’s guess really, so be smart and come prepared for rain, hail or shine.
Get yourself a setup like this and you’ll be right
9. Thermal clothing
As the sun goes down and the concert comes to an end, you’ll want to rug up. Out there it can drop to sub zero temperatures at times, and you want to be dressed appropriately. Travel Out Back Australia offer a great break down of Australia’s extreme conditions, which is worth checking out.
10. Electric blanket
Some people might scoff at this but trust us when we say that taking an electric blanket is a must. Does an electric blanket get classified as a bit of ‘glamping’ equipment? Yeah, maybe, but we promise you that you won’t regret it.
Be smart with how you go about this so you don’t run out of power in the morning. On the first night, we recommend turning it on 30 minutes before you get into bed, and then turn it off and see how you go. That way you can gauge whether you need it on the whole night or not. Of course having a Manager30 battery management system and a solar panel looking after your batteries will mean you can run your blanket in comfort without fear of flat batteries.
11. Old clothing
Yeah it gets pretty dusty out there, and could be made even worse if it rains, so you don’t want to take your favourite jeans or newest threads along for the ride. We suggest, taking some old clothes you don’t care too much if they get thrashed.
If you don’t have any, another option is to go down to your local charity or second-hand store, buy some inexpensive clothing and take that with you.
12. Wet wipes & toilet paper
What’s that smell? Oh, it’s you. BRB does not have any shower facilities, with the nearest ones being at Birdsville, so you can imagine the line-up. So, stock-up on some wet wipes, it’s not the same as a shower but it will at least keep people from giving you some major side-eye.
Another tip is to bring your own TP, in fact this should just be a standard item wherever you go, take it from Shaun Whale who says he keeps his in a sealed bag.
13. Rock n’ Roll
Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to rock the night away. There will be a heap of artists performing over the three nights and you can check out the impressive line up here.
Bring your questions to the REDARC crew. We are again one of the main sponsors of the event and be offering the central meeting place, the REDARC Plaza, placed just behind the concert area on the Big Red Dune. Here you will find food and drinks, merchandise, expo stalls and of course the REDARC team.
We will have our usual experts on hand to answer all of your REDARC related questions and our kitted up Hilux with all the latest products for you to play with.
And of course for all you first timers or even those wanting to find out the latest event info, head over to the Big Red Bash website and follow their helpful guides.