Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.
Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival. Contributed

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

TIM Finn is known for collaborating with brother Neil Finn, but when he comes to the Whitsundays he'll be bringing a different family member - his son, 18-year-old Harper.

Finn, who formed rock-pop band Split Enz in 1971, played temporarily in Crowded House and has performed solo and with the Finn Brothers, will be a headliner at this year's Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

The Auckland-based musician will play tunes from across his 40-year career.

"It's the kind of festival that artists love because it's very music-oriented, there's a nice mix of acts," he said.

Harper has been playing keys with Finn for about a year, and his 13-year-old daughter Elliot has also taken to music.

"She plays bass and drums and sings...

"She'll just come up to me and say 'Dad do you want to jam?' How great is that?" he said.

In recent years, Finn has spent more time composing than performing. He's recently written the music and lyrics for a musical that toured Australia this year.

Set in 1950s Sydney, Ladies in Black tells the story of high school graduate Lisa who takes a holiday job at Goodes, the most prestigious department store in town.

"It's been a dream ride so far and people seem to really love it," Finn said.

Ladies in Black was Finn's first musical, but he enjoyed the challenge and has two more in the pipeline.

"I still sit down with a piano or a guitar and come up with chords and a tune, but with a musical you're really trying to get inside the heads of the characters and serve the narrative," he said.

"That was a new kind of craft that I had to work on, but I took to it really quickly and easily it seems.

"Maybe I've always been meaning to do this. Some of my songs, even from the Spit Enz days, were quite theatrical in their approach - Dirty Creature or I See Red."

Finn will perform at the Airlie Beach Music Festival from November 3-6, alongside Richie Ramone from The Ramones (US), James T from Canned Heat (US), Troy Cassar-Daley, Sandi Thom (Scotland), Daryl Braithwaite from Sherbert and others.

Tickets for the festival are available now, at www.airliebeachfestival or through the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on (07) 4961 9777 and

Day tickets cost $120.

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