ON STAGE: Richie Ramone is best known for being a drummer for punk band the Ramones.
ON STAGE: Richie Ramone is best known for being a drummer for punk band the Ramones. Contributed

Tropical beats to rock Airlie

THE Airlie Beach Festival of Music vibe has grown significantly over the past four years with its roots beginning as a local eclectic music festival to an international event attracting artists from around the world.

Now in its fourth year, the popular music festival, which practically stops Airlie Beach for four days, has matured both in musical styles and song writing prowess with big name bands and artists like Tim Finn, Richie Ramone and Troy Cassar Daley. "We have turned the quietest weekend of the year into the busiest weekend of the year for Airlie Beach,” organiser Gavin Butlin, or Butto, as he is affectionately known, said.

Unfortunately Airlie Beach managed to gain a reputation among artists' managers and promoters as a place to avoid, but the hard work that Butto and his team have achieved over the last few years has changed that reputation as a place to play original sounds in a tropical environment.

"We've managed to get a number of good musical acts to Airlie this year like Tim Finn from Split Ends and Richie Ramone from the Ramones.

"Sandi Thom is the biggest international artist.

"Many people would remember her tune I wish I was a punk rocker (with flowers in my hair) and it's really great to get artists of that calibre coming to play a small town like Airlie Beach.”

Butto said, in the past, the festival was for the 40 years old and up crowd, but now the festival was also catering for the younger generation.

"We've got electro-house and dance group Potbelleez and the energetic funk crew of Electrik Lemonade so they should be satisfied,” he said.

The festival runs from November 3-6.


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