Thousands flock to Birdsville for fifth Big Red Bash music festival

They’ve arrived from all states and territories of Australia with loads of wood strapped on, jerry cans and extra tyres, plus their camp chairs and eskies, and now some 7000 people are camping on the edge of the Simpson Desert for a country rock music festival that has already gained legend status.

The Birdsville Big Red Bash has returned to the outback for the fifth year with some of Australia’s best-loved country and rock artists, including Missy Higgins, Lee Kernaghan, James Reyne and Mark Seymour, alongside Russell Morris, Kate Ceberano, Ian Moss, Tanya Kernaghan and Troy Cassar-Daly. 

They are taking in breathtaking desert views and starry night skies and rocking out on the claypan in front of the 40 metre high Big Red sand dune, the first dune heading west from Birdsville.

Celebrated singer-songwriter Missy Higgins opened the festival on Tuesday night to much acclaim.

Rock royalty will be taking over on Wednesday night in the form of James Reyne and Mark Seymour.

Responsible for some of the most influential and well-known songs in Australian rock history, the pair has banded together to form an unstoppable rock duo.

“I always love playing both The Big Red Bash and with Mark Seymour. Together this will be a very special event,” said James.

The final night will be a sensational day and night, as the Ultimate Anniversary Concert celebrates the 25th anniversary of Lee Kernaghan’s groundbreaking debut album The Outback Club and the incredible career that has followed.

For this one-of-a-kind event, Lee will bring along a collection of Australia’s most beloved country musicians, and personal friends of Lee himself, dubbed Lee’s Legends of Country. 

"I’m looking forward to sharing this amazing experience with everyone who makes the legendary outback journey to Birdsville. Bring on the Big Red Bash!” said Lee.