The Big Red Bash is a two-day music festival that takes place in the iconic Simpson Desert, featuring some legendary Australian musicians.
This amazing event is all in the name of charity and is put together by the Born to Run Foundation, raising funds to assist in finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Melbourne-based family business, Track Trailer, who specialise in offroad camper trailers and caravans, was a major sponsor and not only contributed to the event with direct sponsorship, but also encouraged its customers to join in by holding its largest ever Track Trailer Owners Gathering.
This national owners gathering brought Track Trailer owners together from every state to participate in this special experience. With 36 Tvans and six Topaz caravans in attendance, the gathering directly contributed over $16,500 to the cause!
While the show itself took place over the weekend of 9-10 July, the average punter started their journey roughly three to five days prior.
There are three common ways that people get to Birdsville. The first is coming up from South Australia, along the Birdsville Track and, arguably, this is the easiest and most direct route. The highway stretches from Hawker through Marree and direct to Birdsville on what is mostly dual-lane gravel, with short breaks of bitumen to help settle the nerves. The second route is via the Birdsville Developmental Road, which is convenient for people travelling from NSW or Qld and is pretty easy in the scheme of things. Just plan your fuel stops!
The third route is, perhaps, the best: driving from Mt Dare across the Simpson Desert to Birdsville, which is suitable for people leaving Alice Springs and seeking adventure. This route obviously has the highest risk, but the most diversity.
BUMP IN AT BIG RED
Campsites opened to the public at noon on 8 July and Track Trailer had its own designated camping area for the gathering. As owners filed in from all directions, they began to form a posse with an outer perimeter, using the Topaz caravans to block the strong winds. Surveying the Track Trailer camp, you were greeted by a sea of clamshell roofs all pointing the same direction as if they were open to catch the midday sun.
That evening, all the Track Trailer owners gathered in the presentation area where they were presented with ARB gift bags filled with goodies thanks to Track Trailer suppliers. A “pot luck” dinner followed, with a large spread of different dishes from all the owners.
With the concert not scheduled to begin until late afternoon on 9 July, all the patrons occupied themselves with a variety of activities. Probably the most entertaining of all was watching a mixed bag of 4WDs queue for a shot at the Big Red title.
Soon enough, the sun began to set and the campsites lit up with LEDs.
The stage lit up and the crowd gathered, full of enthusiasm and excitement. They weren’t disappointed as the long list of high-quality Australian musicians gave memorable performances over both nights. Performers included Bill Chambers, Ashleigh Dallas, Harry Hookey, John Williamson and Kasey Chambers on the first night. And then, on the second day, punters enjoyed the sounds of Victoria Edwards, Saxanova, and the super group of James Reyne, Ross Wilson, Daryl Braithwaite and Joe Camilleri.
By the time the campsite began to stir, it was well on its way to midday. But as quickly as the Track Trailer Owners had arrived, they departed again. The clamshells engulfed their tents, floors were retracted and one by one they headed for the horizon in all directions.
Check out the full feature in issue #84 January 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.