Six local pubs have banded with the Townsville Rock Fest to remind patrons not to drink and drive when they head to the city’s annual Over 40s music festival next month (September 13, 2014).

The Townsville Rock Fest – formerly Not too Old to Dance – has introduced a Rock Bus to ferry music lovers to and from Tony Ireland Stadium, with passenger pick-up and drop-off points at the Stuart, Ross Island, Commonwealth, Molly Malone’s, Herbert and Dalrymple Hotels.

Event promoter Margie Ryder said the Rock Bus was an important part of fulfilling her duty of care to Rock Fest patrons.

“The Townsville Rock Fest is all about ‘oldies’ getting together for a great time and, for many people, that will mean sinking a few beers or a couple of glasses of wine as the sun goes down – but it should also mean getting home safely,” Mrs Ryder said.

“While drink and drug driving is less prominent among older drivers, we would still like to eliminate any temptation for our Festival-goers to put themselves or others at risk on the road.

“We’ve introduced the Rock Bus this year so that Festival-goers can get their friends together at a local venue for a pub lunch before the gig, be dropped right outside the gate at the Rock Fest, enjoy themselves until 10pm and then get back to their local pub safely where they can continue their evening, walk home or catch a taxi for a lower fare.

“It’s also our way of saying ‘Thanks’ to the city’s live music venues who support our incredible local bands year ‘round,” said Mrs Ryder.

Proving you can teach an old dog new tricks, the Townsville Rock Fest has made a number of other changes to its format this year including extra bars, corporate packages and a ‘Young Person’s Tax’ for patrons under 40 attempting to enter.

We received a lot of very useful feedback from people who attended last year’s event and have a taken as much on board as possible to make the Townsville Rock Fest an enjoyable day for everyone,” said Mrs Ryder.

“Without a doubt, the most noise was made about whether Under 40s should be allowed to attend or not. We’ve decided the only fair compromise is that music lovers under 40 years of age will only be granted entry to the Townsville Rock Fest with a fake ID that ages them by 20 years. The IDs will be available on the gate for a $5 donation to charity.”