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Pent-up demand! Outback festival sells out in five minutes

June 4, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In a striking demonstration of the yearning among Australians for travel experiences, organisers of a remote outback music festival scheduled for next year in Queensland’s Simpson Desert released a limited run of refund tickets to the event yesterday – and they sold out within five minutes.

This secures the Birdsville Big Red Bash a place in Australia’s post-Covid history as the first sell-out music festival for 2021. Tickets sold like wildfire – even though the event is over a year away, and attending it involves more travel than attending any other event in Australia.

The prospect of travel was part of the attraction – which is why organiser Greg Donovan called the event “a great litmus test on the appetite for travel within Australia”.

The sale started yesterday at 9am and tickets had sold out before the clock hit 9.05am.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the sold-out 2020 Birdsville Big Red Bash event in April this year, ticket holders were given the option to hold onto their tickets for the 2021 event, or take up a refund offer.

With the full stellar line-up of 20 Australian music legends including Paul Kelly, Tim Finn, John Williamson, Kate Ceberano, Ian Moss, Shannon Noll, Dragon, The Radiators, Mi Sex, Wendy Matthews, Thirsty Merc, Marc Gable, Glenn Shorrock and Caitlin Shadbolt that were announced for the 2020 festival locked in for 2021, only 10% of Big Red Bash ticket holders took up the refund offer.

Next year’s all-ages outback festival is set to run 6-8 July 2021, on the striking red sands of Queensland’s Simpson Desert, in front of ‘Big Red’ – a 40-metre high sand dune that provides a spectacular natural amphitheatre setting found nowhere else in the world.

The refund tickets to the 2021 event went on sale yesterday and flew out the door at more than 200-a-minute when they were released at 9am.

Organisers were thrilled with the voracious demand.

“To say we’re happy with the response would be an understatement.  The demand is so great that we then spent the day fielding messages from those who unfortunately missed out on securing a ticket,” said Big Red Bash founder and organiser, Greg Donovan.

“We’re relieved and grateful and hope that this is a sign of things to come for other event organisers.  It’s certainly a great litmus test on the appetite for travel within Australia, and fantastic to see so many people jumping on-board so quickly to support outback travel.

“We have a passionate base of followers – and the 2020 event sold out in record time last year less than a month after tickets went on-sale.  We can’t thank our patrons enough for their ongoing support of the event.  Many of them are return customers who are sold on the unique outback experience.”

Ticket allocation to the 2020 Big Red Bash had been pushed to a record 10,000 festivalgoers – up from 9000 in previous years – and with those numbers now locked in for 2021 next year’s event will be the biggest incarnation of the bucket list festival.

Birdsville Big Red Bash

The Big Red Bash is supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and is a proudly family-friendly event, offering dog-friendly camping and concert areas, with children aged 11-and-under able to attend for free.

With 10,000 concert goers undertaking an average trip of 4300 km, organisers estimate that those travelling to and from the Big Red Bash accrue a combined 40 million kilometres.  This is over 100 times the distance to the moon and is the greatest distance travelled to attend any event in Australia.

Edited by Peter Needham

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