Rock-Til-You-Drop.com (RTYD) is a social network, support system and promo site all tied into one that's dedicated to "supporting and promoting older musicians and bands active at a local level." Founded in 2008 by Toby Burton, RTYD has a focus on the UK and Ireland but Burton hopes to eventually develop sites for other regions. Given that I know a lot of rock musicians in North Carolina that are 40 and over and have been playing since at least their teen years, I believe older musicians in rock who play for enjoyment represent quite a large demographic.
Rock-Til-You-Drop.com is actually a group of sites that are tied together by design and a simple nav bar that gives it the feel of an integrated site with a homepage blog that pulls it all together. Connected sites include the band network, musicians ads, a record shop and a gig calendar.
Punks Not Dad w/Lisa Rogers - Can't Get It Up
Founder Toby Burton was recently interviewed by Liz Wilson of Paper.li. That spot of publicity came about, in part, because Burton not only runs a group of Paper.li publications to promote Rock-Til-You-Drop.com but also runs a group for Decibel, creators of "metadata-driven music discovery APIs."
Burton created RTYD after turning 40, wanted to work with other older artists on a parttime basis and realized that there wasn't a site dedicated to that demographic. He also "figured there must be some really good original music being made by part-time musicians and bands that deserved to be heard more widely."
Though famous musicians are able to draw crowds even as they age, Burton hoped to support musicians that aren't well known but love playing rock and have no intentions of stopping just because they're older. However, I'd certainly heard of Punks Not Dad, who appear on RTYD and have performed in related showcases.
In the interview Burton mentions the audiences that are growing old with the musicians, none of whom are ready to hang it up, especially these days. A related phenomenon mentioned by drummer Brann Dailor of Mastodon, who I spoke with regarding their augmented reality app, is the increasing attendance at Mastodon shows of fathers and sons who share a love for heavier forms of rock.
Though Punks Not Dad may joke about their age and the musicians ads are subtitled "where you can be honest about your age, ambition and level of commitment," I don't really get a sense that the folks at RTYD or any of the older rock musicians I know feel they have to prove themselves or explain why they still play rock music. However, it makes sense to connect with others who understand where you are at specific points in life.
If you know of similar networks in other parts of the world, please share in the comments section.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.