Big Red Bash To Make Record Attempt Of Largest ‘Nutbush City Limits’ Dance In Tribute To Tina Turner

25 May 2023 | 3:16 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I’m sure she would have been proud that the Nutbush raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Royal Flying Doctors, and that this legacy will live on.”

Photo of the 2022 Big Red Bash & Tina Turner

Photo of the 2022 Big Red Bash & Tina Turner (Credit: Matt Williams, Supplied)

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The dance to Nutbush City Limits is embedded in Australian culture. It’s so significant to a music-loving portion of this country that the regional Queensland Birdsville Big Red Bash has broken the record for the largest amount of people dancing to the Nutbush on multiple occasions.

Last year, in the red desert plains of Southwest Queensland, 4,084 punters gathered for the iconic Nutbush City Limits dance and set the record for the largest Nutbush dance. The new world record nearly doubled the previous mark of 2,878 dancers, which was set at the 2021 Birdville Big Red Bash.

The dance was hosted below the Simpson Desert's legendary 40-metre-high Big Red sand dune and was accompanied by a good cause to boot, with participation via registration raising more than $60,000 for the festival's charity partner, The Royal Flying Doctor Service.

This year, the Big Red Bash organisers and attendees are already rallying to break the 2022 record in tribute to Tina Turner, who passed away at age 83 in her Swiss home following a lengthy illness. The event will take place on Thursday, 6 July 2023.

The Nutbush City Limits dance world record attempt will be a highlight of the last day of the sold-out three-day 10th anniversary Birdsville Big Red Bash event. More than 4,084 boot-scooting Nutbush dancers are needed to beat the current record that was set at the 2022 Birdsville Big Red Bash.

The Nutbush dance has collectively raised more than $500,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors since 2016. In 2023, it’s hoped that around 5,000 people will come together to Nutbush at the Birdsville Big Red Bash – adjudicated by the Australian Book of Records.

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“We were very sad to hear of Tina Turner’s passing earlier this morning. She was an incredible performer, and her Nutbush City Limits song and associated world record attempt is a huge, fun part of our events,” said Steve Donovan, Operations Manager for the Outback Music Festival Group (who stage the Birdsville Big Red Bash and Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash) said in a statement. 

“We always get quite a few people dressed up as Tina for the Nutbush world record attempt, but we’re now expecting even more this year. She was so well loved and it’s always an amazing call to action when her Nutbush song is played out across the festival sites and thousands of boot scooters came together to dance their way into a new world record.”

In addition to the Big Red Bash, the Mundi Mundi Bash Mad Max Dress Up in August promises to showcase a huge representation of Turner’s iconic Mad Max look. Donovan added, “I’m sure she would have been proud that the Nutbush raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Royal Flying Doctors, and that this legacy will live on.”