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Thursday 19th March 2019

Key Points

  • Due to the Coronavirus the Federal Government has issued a ban on non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more 

  • We still hope the Bash can go ahead and we are continuing to plan.

  • We’ll make a decision about whether or not the event is going ahead by the 24th of April at the latest.

  • If the Bash doesn’t go ahead this year all of the artists on the 2020 line up will be back in 2021 and your 2020 ticket would become valid for 2021. If you are unable or don’t wish to attend in 2021 you could request a refund, which would be provided.

  • If you have other questions about refunds and ticketing if the event doesn’t go ahead, please be patient. There will be more information on this coming soon.

  • Please check Facebook, your email and the website regularly for updates from our team.

Founders Message

In 2013, we had John Williamson put on a small show for a few hundred people on top of Big Red, as an adjunct to a running event called the Big Red Run.

Fast forward to now and the Big Red Bash has grown from a dream to become a sold out, multi-day music festival that welcomes around 10,000 people. 

We have faced and overcome many hurdles, and have built an amazing event that brings visitors from around the nation and the world to heartland Australia - generating much needed income for small outback towns and regions in the process.

This year, the Big Red Bash is facing its biggest challenge yet, with COVID-19 placing this year’s festival in jeopardy.

And we are not alone, as the world’s events, tourism and entertainment industries shut down and takes the biggest economic hit we’ve seen in a lifetime.

Our hearts go out to other events and companies that have been forced to cancel last-minute, as we know that most of their event delivery budgets would have already been committed or spent.

If the Big Red Bash is to go ahead this year, there will be a new set of challenges and risks for us to plan for and address.

We are currently in the process of identifying and working through these with a range of stakeholders including state and local governments and health authorities.

I want to assure you that The Big Red Bash is backed by a stellar team of seasoned event professionals, who are highly adept at working in harsh, remote and challenging environments that entail a wide range of risks, and that we're up to the task of managing this new challenge. 

We place the utmost focus on the safety of everyone involved in the event and will continue to do so.

Whilst many other events and activities are being cancelled or postponed, and there is currently a government ban on non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people, the Big Red Bash is nearly four months away – and we are not going to rush into making any final decisions about this year’s event. 

Our team is working calmly through a wide range of issues and assessing the COVID-19 situation as it evolves day-to-day. At this stage, although there is a range of predictions, nobody can tell how the virus cycle will play out.

Given this uncertainty, we are continuing to prepare for this year’s Big Red Bash.

At the same time, to provide our patrons certainty and time to make alternate plans should the Bash be unable to proceed, we have established a timeframe for making a final decision on whether this year’s event will go ahead. 

A final decision will be made on the 24th April, 2020, at the very latest.

Depending on a range of issues and the ongoing situation, we may decide on whether the Bash is unable to proceed before this date – and that would of course also be the case if the decision is taken out of our hands by government mandates or regulations.

We realise that coming to the Bash is a major commitment for everyone, so we want to provide you with as much notice before the event as possible. We hope April 24th, which is over 10 weeks before the event, is a reasonable timeframe for most people. 

We appreciate your patience as we work through things, and will be steadfast in keeping you updated as the situation evolves. 

The Big Red Bash is operated by a family business. We work on family principles of looking after and supporting each other, especially through difficult times. We demonstrated this recently by donating $100,000 to the Bushfire Crisis. 

Please be assured that we will put your interests first in our planning and decision making – whether that relates to your health and safety, financial situation, or plans to attend the Bash.

Crises like these bring out the best in people and whilst they present some immense difficulties, we know that everyone will work together and support each other and we will get through.

What if the Bash can’t go ahead this year?

If the 2020 Bash is unable to proceed, it would be back again in 2021 from July 6-8.

We have the commitment of all of our fantastic Australian artists on the 2020 line up to come back to the Bash next year if that needs to happen, and we thank them for that support to enable us to deliver this amazing lineup at a later time (please be aware that those in the performing arts are also seeing their work and income disappear through this crisis).

If this year’s Bash doesn’t go ahead, your tickets would become valid for 2021 or, alternatively, you could request a refund.

We're confident that any refunded tickets that may become available for sale to a re-scheduled Bash in 2021 will be snapped up quickly - so by retaining your ticket, you would secure your place.

We would give you plenty of time to make this decision, as we understand the level of planning and commitment that goes into attending the Big Red Bash. We would hope that many of you would be able to support the Bash and the Australian music industry by holding on to your tickets for 2021.

These arrangements would fully protect you and provide flexibility depending on your circumstances.

For any tickets refunded, we would put them back on sale to the general public. Should this occur, more specific details, including dates, would be provided at the time.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support and understanding during this difficult and unprecedented time.

Greg Donovan

Big Red Bash Founder and Festival Director

If you have any questions about COVID-19 and Big Red Bash please refer to the COVID-19 FAQS on our website.


Thanks to all of our sponsors who help us bring you this amazing event.

Presenting Partners

Major Sponsors

RedArc Unsealed 4x4 The Birdsville Hotel

Official Vehicle Sponsor

Volkswagen Commercial


RV Daily Regional Express

Government and Council Supporters

Big Run Events, the organiser of the Big Red Bash is enormously grateful for the various forms of assistance provided to the event by Tourism and Events Queensland, the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, and Diamantina Shire Council.

Outback Queensland Tourism

Birdsville Big Red Bash event extensions are funded under the Year of Outback Tourism Events Program during the Year of Outback Tourism 2019.


Big Red Bash is a unique high profile outback event, which draws significant media coverage. If you are interested in Big Red Bash sponsorship opportunities, please contact us, and our sponsorship manager will respond to you.

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