In July 2021, over 10,000 Bashers came together to celebrate good music and good times in the Aussie outback.

To reduce waste and minimise our environmental footprint, we had some major new initiatives this year.

Our Sandy Footprint

In 2013 the Big Red Bash began as a one-night concert on the crest of Big Red. We had a small team of 20 people running it, and only 600 in the crowd. On the night we watched as John Williamson performed against sunset skies.

Since then the Bash has grown quickly. In 2017 we realised that with so many people attending the Bash, we had an opportunity to make a real difference by reducing our waste and minimising our environmental footprint on the remote desert environment we love so much.

In 2018 we introduced composting toilets, aluminium can recycling and composting our crew kitchen food scraps.

Now we have dedicated staff working on how we can make the Bash more sustainable every year and we are proud to share our sustainability initiatives with you.

This Year

  • Composting toilets
  • Aluminium can recycling
  • Crew kitchen and vendor food waste to be composted
  • Promoting reusable cups

Composting Toilets

In 2018 we replaced our chemical port-a-loos with hygienic, odourless, composting toilets.

They reduced our water use, didn’t smell, and under the watchful eye of our volunteer ‘dunny angels’ they were always squeaky clean.

How do they work?

For your number ones, nothing changes
For your number twos, simply cover it up with one scoop of sawdust
As you leave the toilet block, use the hand sanitiser pump pack to clean your hands


The Bash is in a remote, dry part of Australia. Our old chemical port-a-loos used:

  • 140,000 litres of fresh water for flushing
  • Two semi-trailer tankers to transport 160,000 litres of liquid waste to Birdsville Waste Treatment Plant every day!
  • Several diesel-burning pump trucks to maintain them

Advantages of Composting:

  • No water (or transport of) needed for flushing
  • Drastically reduced transport needed for sewage
  • Only environmentally sound cleaning products used - no bleaches, formaldehyde or other chemicals
  • Within a year the dry compost is given to nearby farmers to fertilise their land

If you’d like to find out more about composting toilets check out some of those who have advised and inspired us:


Recycle Your Cans and PET Plastic Bottles

Everyone likes to relax by the fire with a tinny after a long day. At the Bash, where glass is prohibited (except in your camp kitchen), we see a lot of cans. In fact, we estimate that over half of the rubbish we generate is cans.

When we introduced can recycling at the 2018 Bash, we collected over 30 cubic metres (1.2 tonnes) of aluminium cans . In 2019 this jumped to around 45 cubic metres (1.7 tonnes). That's a lot of cans kept out of landfill!

We've had such a great response that we’re going even bigger. We will have more bins and hope to collect even more cans. We've also added PET plastic bottle recycling to the line up.

So when you’re at the Bash, please collect your cans and PET plastic bottles, and drop them in the separate recycling bins.

Composting Food Waste

This year we are composting all food waste from food vendors!

Crew Reducing our Impact

We’re encouraging our whole team to invest in a reusable cup and reusable shopping bags

The volunteer hang-out tent is now plastic cup free

We are composting all food waste from the crew kitchen