Two Kiama residents are gearing up for the outback adventure of a lifetime, as they prepare to travel more than 2000 kilometres and 22 hours to volunteer at Australia's most remote music festival - the Birdsville Big Red Bash in the Simpson Desert.
The colourful Kiama characters, 71 year-old John McMaster and 67 year-old John Knox, will be two of the oldest volunteers at this year's Big Red Bash.
The festival presents an opportunity for people to tick off their bucket list and raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The iconic three-day music event is expected to attract 10,000 intrepid travelers and music-lovers.
Festival-goers will flock to the striking red sands of the desert for a jam-packed program of live Australian music, outback activities and charity events.
"Volunteering at the Big Red Bash provides the opportunity to not only work behind-the-scenes at an extremely unique music festival, but to also give back to the community," said Big Red Bash founder and organiser Greg Donovan.
"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 Royal Flying Doctor Service, which is a vital organisation in the region that helps remote areas often cut off from critical medical services.
"This growth has been possible in large part because we have around 500 volunteers each year who trek out to the event and muck in to make everything happen. Volunteers give us the additional manpower needed to go above and beyond and to embark on extra initiatives like the charity activities we hold for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We are extremely grateful for the contribution our volunteers make each year."
Since 2016 the Big Red Bash has raised more than $100,000 for the charity.
In 2018 the festival raised $10,000 and set the world record for the largest dance to Tina Turner's Nutbush City Limits with 1,719 people in participation.
Greg Donovan said he hoped to add another $100,000 to the festival's contribution in 2019.
The 2019 Big Red Bash Festival boasts one of the best billings in the event's history.
Aussie rock legends Midnight Oil headline the lineup, along with a selection of all-time Australian music greats which include ARIA award-winners The Living End, Richard Clapton, 1927, Kasey Chambers and Wendy Matthews, as well as Neil Murray, Busby Marou and more.
The much-loved event will also play host to the Australian Outback Air Guitar Championships, Fashions in the Desert and the Bashville Drags, where festival-goers race a 500-metre dirt course donned in colourful drag outfits. Both the Fashions in the Desert and Bashville Drags will raise funds for charity.
The Big Red Bash will be held from July 16 to 18 in 2019.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.bigredbash.com.au