July 8, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Last week’s national lockdown party and the ongoing stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydney don’t seem to have put a dampener on the Birdsville Big Red Bash, which is kicking off in a big way in the Simpson Desert this week.

The 2021 event, which has been running since Tuesday and wraps up today, is the enjoying the largest crowd in the event’s history, with nearly 10,000 attendees spread over the 1.3 million square metre site, allowing a generous 6.3sqm per person.

COVID safe measures in place at the event include wider walkways, 90sqm camping sites – that’s a lot bigger than many one-bedroom apartments in Sydney – and a 10-person Queensland Health medical team onsite and two pathologists to administer rapid COVID testing at the event.

Performers at the festival this year include Paul Kelly, Thirsty Merc, Daryl Braithwaite, Ian Moss, John Williamson and Russell Morris.