Concert promoters are eyeing off bringing a classic rock music festival to Sydney in the near-future, following the success of the locally organised Not Too Old To Dance festival that took place in Townsville recently.

The brainchild of Richard Fuller, the Townsville man who was told by a Magistrate Court that he was “too old to dance”, the charity rock event took its name from the Magistrate’s advice.

As previously reported, Fuller was removed from a Cold Chisel concert last year after his enthusiasm and “double fist-pumping” upset security.

He was then taken to court and fined fined $450 for ‘common assault’ with Magistrate Ross Mack  handing down the judgement with some advice about concert etiquette.

“Patrons have come to see the band, not some guy next to them,” he remarked, “you are too old to dance Mr. Fuller.”

What followed was a groundswell of public support from similarly aged rock veterans who saw the fine as a indictment on their natural-given ability to enjoy the classic spirit of rock n roll. Fuller then put his passion to good use and took a stand for his boogie baiting moves, proposing he would organise a charity event in his local home of Townsville, featuring a classic Australian rock lineup, to raise money for depression aid organisation, Beyond Blue.

The “Not Too Old To Dance” music festival achieved just that, as a 1,200 strong crowd of oldies rocked out to a 10-hour long retrolicious lineup, inspired by Fuller’s defiant dance moves, and according to Christie Eliezer’s Industrial Strength column, concert promoters have allegedly contacted Fuller and his team about the possibility of bringing the concept to Sydney.

The Townsville event, held on Saturday 20th October, saw the lineup of 80s superstars 1927 and Sydney icons The Choirboys mixing it up with local Townsville talent such as the Godfathers Of Funk, Alien8, Back’n’Business, and LiveWire.

Margie Ryder, one of key event organisers of “Not Too Old To Dance”, told the North Queensland Register that she was “over the moon” with the feedback she received about the music festival. “Admittedly, we had fewer people come through the gate than hoped,” said Ryder, “but every person who showed up had a good time and that’s what Not Too Old to Dance was all about.”

The ‘over 40s only’ event was held at the Tony Ireland Stadium also featured all the festival trimmings, including food, stalls, merchandise, and of course – the main stage that allowed the “the thousands of over 40s just like Richard Fuller who enjoy an opportunity to let their hair down and rock on, while supporting a good cause.”“…every person who showed up had a good time and that’s what Not Too Old to Dance was all about.”
A portion of the final proceeds from ticket sales was donated to Beyond Blue, to help address issues associated with depression, anxiety, and related illnesses. Choirboys frontman and Beyond Blue ambassador Mark Gable accepted the final donation of $6,310.

“There’s a lot of depression among people over 40, particularly the men who don’t really want to talk about it,” said Gable. “Events like Not Too Old To Dance help to highlight [that].”

So successful was the event that Ryder and Fuller have already been approached by concert promoters to bring a bigger version of “Not Too Old To Dance” to Sydney next year, with an eye to a bigger lineup, while still maintaining the charity and nostalgia aspects of the event.

“We’re yet to make a decision on whether there will be a next year there’s a lot of due diligence to be done before we can make that call. But if Not Too Old to Dance does go ahead again, we’ll take some key learning from this year,” says Ryder.

She also remarked that if a second showing of the event were to occur, the major change tmay be the age restrictions, allowing over 30s to attend, while “18 to 29-year-olds requiring an over-40 ‘chaperone’. The last thing we want to do is deny young people who appreciate old music the chance to hear it live.”

Who knows? Maybe the bigger exposure would be able to rope in Fuller’s beloved Cold Chisel, seeing the old rocker fist-pump and jam out to his favourite rock act at the very festival that inspired it would be a fabulous way to bring it all full circle.

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