Big Red Bash raises funds for much needed services
FOR the fourth year in a row Leann Dakin is returning to the country's most remote music festival, the Birdsville Big Red Bash to raise money for charities.
The civic-minded Ipswich granny couldn't help herself after her first visit, experiencing the camaraderie and the beauty of the Simpson Desert.
"Four years ago we went with a group out to Birdsville, the next year, we enjoyed it so much we went as well, and then that year, we were chatting with people and they said volunteering is the best way to go," she said.
"They have a variety of volunteers ... people with qualified trades to people like us where you can do a night shift and direct traffic.
"The support you get from the people doing the organising of the volunteers is incredible."
Ms Dakin and her husband Ray will travel more than 17 hours and 1500 kilometres straight west to hit the festival, which this year will be headlined by , Midnight Oil, The Living End, Richard Clapton, Busby Marou and Kasey Chambers.
The most important part of the festival for Ms Dakin however is raising money for important services such as Diabetes Australia and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
"We jumped in and helped the Royal Flying Doctor Service do some fund-raising after we finished volunteering for the Big Red Bash," she said.
"When we were walking around collecting with our tin people were putting in $50, $20,"
About 10,000 music-lovers and charitable folk converge on the festival each year which last year raised $10,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Service by breaking the world record for the largest Nutbush Dance as 1719 people danced to Tina Turner's tune.
The year before the festival raised almost $100,000. This year festival organiser Greg Donovan said he is hoping to add another $100,000 to the Festival's overall contribution in 2019 alone.
"The Big Red Bash has grown quickly over the years, both in terms of elevating the event offering and also bringing on a worthy charity partner, the RFDS, which is a vital organisation in the region that helps remote areas often cut off from critical medical services," he said.
The much-loved event also plays host to the Australian Outback Air Guitar Championships, Fashions in the Desert and the RFDS Bashville Drags, which sees festival-goers race a 500-metre dirt course donned in colourful drag outfits. Both the Fashions in the Desert and Bashville Drags events raise funds for the RFDS.
For more information, head to bigredbash.com.au