I could hear people leaving the caravan from before the crack of dawn to head to Big Red. I was happy to lay in bed until a more reasonable 7.30 and let the early birds queue at the gate – the line the day before for early bird ticket holders was apparently 12km long!
As we packed up I checked the water tank where I had repaired a slow leak yesterday to see if it was still holding out. The leak had started again so I was under the van in my newly washed clothes to try and stop it. Our camping neighbours had some plumbing repair tape (I’d used all of ours driving to Mitchell Falls last year and forgotten to replace) and marine selastine that greatly assisted the repairs. As long as it holds for the next three days out at Big Red we’ll be fine.
We grabbed our wrist bands at the information centre along with some souvenirs. Miss7 then sat and watched a play while we walked across to the bakery for a cuppa and some sweet snacks for later. We headed out to Big Red just before noon and enjoyed an easy drive out with good road conditions and not much traffic.
We could see the sea of cars and campers before we got to the entrance – it’s certainly a bigger event this time around! We were guided by one of the 350 event volunteers to the back blocks where we set up the camper as the sun beat down. Despite it only being about 23 degrees, the Simpson desert offered little shade and certainly none anywhere near our camp. The awnings were to be our only campsite shade for the next few days.
The kids and I headed up to the top of Big Red for a slide down the sand dune on the boogie board. I was quickly reminded just how hard it is to walk up the 40′ sandy hill whilst dodging the country’s biggest bindies! On the way back to camp Miss7 boots had quickly filled with prickles scratching her ankles so I sacrificed my feet, gave her my thongs and walked back to camp barefoot – it was a slow and painful experience!
We grabbed our camp chairs and some drinks and snacks and headed to the concert area ready for the festival to start. A Welcome to Country via a gorgeous video and live elder welcome, a few obligatory sponsor acknowledgements and Bashville was officially opened for 2017.
Missy Higgins opened the festival and she was brilliant. I fondly recalled all of my favourites from my teens as I sang along with Miss7 on my shoulders in the dance area and then on my knee at our seats (my back didn’t hold out very long!). Big Red again made a magical backdrop to the lights and sounds of the Bash.
The dust lay thick like a fog on the horizon as the sun set over Big Red. I guess 6-7,000 people camping in the dirt will do that. I was grateful for our campsite up the back as we made our way along the track to camp together with the thousands kicking up the dust along the way. The foot traffic settled significantly by the time we got to camp as too did the dust.