Australia at War: John Schumann to headline 2021 ANZAC Day festivities

Putting on a show: John Schumann and the Vagabond Crew will perform in Goolwa the Friday before ANZAC Day. Photo: Supplied.
Putting on a show: John Schumann and the Vagabond Crew will perform in Goolwa the Friday before ANZAC Day. Photo: Supplied.

Legendary Australian singer-songwriter John Schumann will headline ANZAC Day festivities on the south coast this year, bringing his 'Australia at War' performance to the South Lakes Golf Club on Friday, April 23.

The former Redgum front man and "I Was Only 19" singer will perform with his Vagabond Crew, in a show that not only entertains, but explores the historical context of Australians at war.

The performance forms part of a larger weekend of events and the return of former 817 Squadron RAN service personnel to their adopted home of Goolwa.

Between 1986 and 2011, 817 Squadron travelled to Goolwa every year to attend ANZAC Day commemorations and became adopted locals among the community.

The Adelaide-based Mr Schumann said he was thrilled to be performing in South Australia this year and said the return of 817 Squadron would make it a special event.

"I love the Fleurieu and often visit friends in the region, so I'm thrilled to be playing in my home state," he said.

"It's great for us to be able to play on ANZAC Day again, considering last year's events were called off and we are raring to go after recently performing at the Fringe."

Australia at War includes the performance of a variety of songs reflecting Australian's wartime experiences, including originals and covers.

The show also includes an actress who theatrically performs poems, letters and reflections.

"It's evocative but it's also entertaining and a bit instructing... it's quite theatrical and aims to absolutely engage people," Mr Schumann said.

"We pay a lot of attention to the ANZAC theme and commemoration. It's a very important day for veterans and their families and the families of those who have lost loved ones in the defence of Australia.

"It's one time when we can stop, remember and reflect and honour their service."

Event organiser and former 817 Squadron Chief Allen Clarke said the concert was being run as a not for profit event, with all proceeds to go to the Alexandrina Council to thank them for being so welcoming over many years.

"This is a multi-faceted event which celebrates 'Australia at War' and brings together members of the Squadron as well as the local community," Mr Clarke said.

"I'm extremely proud to bring this event to Goolwa, but a lot of credit has to go to Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes, all the council staff involved and my partner Coralie Pratt who has been an absolute stalwart in getting this weekend put together.

"It's going to be an emotional weekend and it will be great for all of us to return to Goolwa."

Tickets for Australia at War, which include a three course dinner are available via trybooking.com and are selling fast.

As part of the weekend, a special service will be held for the women of 817 Squadron and veterans will join the incumbent, commissioned 808 Squadron for an ANZAC Day Parade in Victor Harbor organised by the Victor Harbor RSL.

More information on a number of ANZAC Day events and services to be held across the region will be available in upcoming editions of The Times.