Two kids sitting on some deck chairs on the Carols lawn

Getting ready for Carols

Getting Ready for Carols Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI is just around the corner! Are you ready to light up Christmas for kids who are blind or have low vision? We've got everything you'll need to end this year on a high-note with us. Tickets for both our rehearsal night on December 23 and the main event on Christmas Eve are almost sold out.  See ticket information Timings Gates open at 4pm on both nights. Get there early for general admission tickets, as the lawn area is allocated on a first in, best dressed basis! On Christmas Eve, the show starts promptly at 8pm. Rehearsal night will kick off from 4pm. The event will finish at approximately 11pm both nights.   How to get there Both events are taking place at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Limited pay and display parking can be found in the streets surrounding. Arts Centre Melbourne has one large undercover car park located at the corner of Sturt and Kavanagh Streets, Southbank. There are several ways you can make your way to the event, including via car, bus or train.   What to bring & what not to bring Make sure to pack appropriately for the weather, including hats, sunglasses and ponchos in case of rain. Low fold out chairs and picnics are welcome but there are some restrictions, so check our FAQs to ensure your items are compliant! Refer to the FAQs   What will be available to purchase at the event? A variety of healthy and affordable food choices will be on offer to keep you refreshed from vendors such as: Burger Maestro, Spuds Maestro, Dough Truck, Crepes n Coffee, Pizza Primo, Schnitzel Republic, Taco Station, Wrap Roll It, Boost Juice, Amazing Calamari. To keep you refreshed, drinks will be available to buy including wine from our partners Villa Maria and Squealing Pig for those 18+.   Carols Songbook Our 2022 songbook was released over the weekend. If you didn't pick it up, download your copy today. It includes articles about the history of Carols by Candlelight, the artists performing on the night and, of course, lyrics so you can sing-along to the carols. Download the songbook   Accessibility We have a number of resources available to make sure as many people as possible can enjoy the magic of Carols by Candlelight. This includes an Access Key, audio description and Auslan at the event as well as commentary and audio description broadcast on Vision Australia Radio. View accessibility information   Watching or listening from home? If you're not able to attend the event, you can enjoy the live telecast from 8pm on 24 December on Channel 9 and 9Now, with a full replay on Christmas day at 1pm on Channel 9 and again at 7pm on 9Gem. Check your local television guide for more information. Radio stations 2GB in Sydney, 4BC in Brisbane and 3AW in Melbourne will have a simulcast of the event for your listening pleasure. 22 Dec 2022
Performers on the Carols by Candlelight stage

A star-studded line up

Earlier this week we announced our two amazing co-hosts, David Campbell and Brooke Boney. We are beyond excited to see the two light up our stage this Christmas Eve. Adding to the excitement, we have a long list of performers that keeps on growing.  Here’s who we have joining us so far…    Anthony Callea ARIA Music Award winner Anthony Callea is no stranger to Australian audiences and is one of the country’s finest and most recognised singers. The powerhouse vocalist released his much anticipated 8th studio album FORTY LOVE on October 21, 2022 and debuted in the Top 5 of the ARIA Album Charts. 2023 will see Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell touring together for the very first time. The talented duo will be bringing their “Up Close & Unpredictable” live music concert experience to theatres around the country with tickets on sale now!   Tim Campbell Tim Campbell is one of Australia's most versatile and much loved entertainers. On TV, he has been seen in leading roles on Home and Away, House Husbands, Big Sky, Dead Gorgeous and host of national prime time shows Celebrity Singing Bee, Wheel of Fortune, National Bingo Night and currently Channel 9’s Postcards.   The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir contains 25 core members. The women (and 4 men) come from six remote communities within a thousand-kilometre radius throughout central Australia - Hermannsburg, Areyonga, Titjikala, Mutitjulu, Docker River, and Alice Springs. The choir was formed as an amalgamation of various individual community choirs, including the renowned choirs from Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Areyonga and Ernabella. Casey Donovan After a meteoric rise to fame at the age of 16, Casey became the youngest ever winner of Australian Idol in 2004. A proud Gumbaynggir and Dungari woman, over the last eighteen years, Donovan has made her mark not only as a musician, but also in the areas of stage, screen, presenting and writing. Casey is a multi-Award winner & nominee, including an ARIA No #1 Award and Triple Platinum for ‘Listen With Your Heart’ from the Double Platinum Album ‘For You’ and Deadly Awards for Best Album, Best Single and Most Promising New Talent. Bobby Fox Bobby Fox is an Irish born Australian actor who originated the role of Franki Valli in the Australian production of Jersey Boys which he performed over 850 times. He is a 4 times World Irish Dance Champion and toured with dance productions Riverdance, Dancing on Dangerous Ground, To Dance on the Moon and starred in the revival of Australian musical Hot Shoe Shuffle as Spring. On stage Bobby has had lead roles in Blood Brothers, Mamma Mia!, Leader of the Pack, Dusty – The Original Pop Diva, We Will Rock You, Spamalot and The Production Company’s Oklahoma, Sweet Charity and Damn Yankees. David Hobson Australian tenor and composer David Hobson is one of Australia’s best known operatic and recording artists. He has sung many roles for Opera Australia including his award-winning performances as Rodolfo (La Boheme) and the title role in Orphee. Other roles include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte), Count Almaviva (The Barber of Saville), Nadir (Pearl Fishers), Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance), The Architect - in the world premiere of The Eighth Wonder, Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Aristaeus/Pluto (Orpheus in the Underworld), the title role in Candide and, Danilo in Opera Queensland’s The Merry Widow. Rob Mills Distilled from a footy playing, pub singing tradie from the south east suburbs of Melbourne, the much-loved Rob Mills has built an impressive career across screen & stage over nearly 20 years. In more recent times he has developed into an accomplished presenter and subsequently an author! Lara Nakhle Lara Nakhle is a 24-year-old who started playing piano from the age of two and singing followed soon after. Lara has had an eye condition since birth called Leber Congenital Amaurosis which means she is totally blind but with some light perception. Since 2007 when Lara finished top 48 on The Voice Australia (then on Channel 9) and joined team SEAL, Lara has performed at a range of events around Sydney and throughout Australia. Silvie Paladino Silvie Paladino is one of Australia’s most versatile and talented entertainers. Silvie’s Australian credits include the roles of: Jeannie in Hair, Grizabella in Cats, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Donna in the smash hit Mamma Mia!, Rita in Sideshow Alley, Clara in Passion and for The Production Company: Lady Thiang in The King And I, Florence in Chess (Green Room and Helpmann Award nominations) and Jerry’s Girls. Marina Prior Marina Prior is regarded as Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre. She is best known for her lead role in The Phantom of the Opera which she played for over three years. She has also performed with international stars including Richard Harris, José Carreras and international vocal group Il Divo. Thando Sikwila The Australian music scene is no stranger to Thndo (aka Thando). The widely loved Zimbabwean-born ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’ has commanded massive crowds at festivals, and live venues, stunning audiences to a point of standing ovation; rave reviews following in their wake. Every performance is a statement – a triumph of powerful lyricism, rich-ranged vocals and smooth backing instrumentation – turning onward the wheel of live music, show by show. Mitch Tambo Mitch Tambo is one of Australia’s most unique and electrifying First Nations entertainers who has been hailed as “the new voice of our generation” (Natalie Bassingthwaighte). The Sony Music Recording Artist has become an international sensation. His debut album ‘Guurrama-Li’ raced up music charts within Australia, the UK, US, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Denis Walter OAM 3AW Nights with Denis has soared to record ratings having made 8pm to midnight his own with a mix of News, Entertainment and plenty of listener calls. Denis has broadcast from his home studio for much of this year. His new Sony album Yesterday Once More was released in Autumn and in 2022 he returns to concert venues around Australia to bring the music to the people. The album is a tribute to the music of the 60's and 70's. After 51 years in showbusiness his star shines brightly. Emma Watkins Dancer and filmmaker Emma Watkins began her performance career early from the age of 3, nurturing her love of dance and movement, performing ballet, Irish, hip-hop, tap and contemporary dance. Since announcing her departure from The Wiggles in 2021, Emma has gone on to launch her new beloved children’s character, Emma Memma and has recently appeared on Channel 9’s Lego Masters Bricksmas Specials. Celebrate Christmas Eve by singing, dancing and signing with Emma Watkins at this year’s Carols by Candlelight.   14 Dec 2022
Brooke Boney wearing a red dress, stands next to David Campbell in a black suit in front of a Christmas tree

David Campbell and Brooke Boney to…

We are delighted to announce that David Campbell and Brooke Boney will host Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI this year, live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Friday, December 24.    David Campbell is synonymous with Carols by Candlelight and this year marks his ninth year of hosting. Joining David on the Carols stage for the first time will be the fabulous Brooke Boney and we can't wait for these two to light up Christmas Eve. To watch the brightest Carol’s yet, you can purchase ticket’s here or tune in at home at 8.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.     “I’m excited to be joining David this year to host Carols. I love Christmas, and being able to spread Christmas cheer to everyone is an absolute treat, we also raise money for children who are blind or have low vision and their families,” Brooke said.    “Christmas is such a wonderful time and I’m always so honoured to be a part of such a wonderful Christmas Eve tradition. My family love Christmas, and it’s made even better by raising money for Vision Australia and the children and families all over Australia that need support. It’s going to be a spectacular night,” David said.    Carols by Candlelight is Vision Australia’s biggest annual fundraiser for children’s services, with 100 per cent of profits from ticket sales going directly towards supporting over 2300 families whose children are blind or have low vision. If you’d like to make a donation, click here.   12 Dec 2022
Rob Mills and Silvie Paladino on the stage of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl wearing tinsel and Santa hats

Brightest Carols yet

Tickets to the most magical night of the year, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI are on sale now. For over 80 years, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI has been supporting children who are blind or have low vision and this year, Art Centre Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl will undoubtedly be the epicentre of Christmas celebrations when Melbournians will once again gather to celebrate the festive season. From humble beginnings in 1938, Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI has grown into an institution of Christmas magic and this year will mark the 85th staging of this beloved annual Christmas Eve tradition. Tickets to Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI on Christmas Eve and the rehearsal night on December 23 are available now. Familiar faces and brand-new stars will grace the stage to perform everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and carols, including Nine’s beloved stalwarts Marina Prior, Denis Walter, David Hobson, Silvie Paladino, Rob Mills with more to be announced in November. “It’s thanks to the funds raised through Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight event that we can provide much-needed services to thousands of children who are blind or have low vision. This year we welcome family and friends to join us in person at the wonderful Sidney Myer Music Bowl as we bring you the brightest Carols yet,” said Ron Hooten, Vision Australia CEO. “As Australia’s leading personal insurer, AAMI’s passionate about supporting events that are important to Australians. Christmas is a time for people to come together, and we are very proud to continue our support of Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight, and be a part of this wonderful Christmas tradition,” said Mim Haysom, Executive General Manager Brand and Marketing, Suncorp Group. As always, the whole show will be broadcast on Channel 9 and 9Now live from 8pm on Christmas Eve, as well as a replay on Christmas Day. 2UE 954 in Sydney, 4BH in Brisbane and Magic 1278 in Melbourne will have a simulcast of the event for your listening pleasure, while Vision Australia Radio will provide professional audio description through their local stations and online.   Buy tickets to Carols by Candlelight 02 Nov 2022
View o the crowd and Sidney Myer Music Bowl from the lawns at Carols by Candlelight

Getting to Carols by Candlelight

So you’ve got your tickets, and you’ve prepared your picnic and your blanket, but what’s the best way to get to Carols? We’ve prepared this little guide to help you have a happy and painless experience getting to the event. Access to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl via public transport including trams, trains and buses is relatively simple. The venue is easily located with permanent directional signs to guide visitors. For further information on how to get to the venue by public transport, contact Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or visit Travelling by UBER or Taxi Your UBER or taxi may drop you on St. Kilda Road near the venue or Government House Drive. The closest rank to the Bowl is outside Flinders Street Train Station. You may also like to carry the number of a taxi company and call as you are getting ready to leave the venue. Sections of Linlithgow Avenue will be closed to public on 23 and 24 December 2021. Travelling by train Catch any train into Flinders Street Station, and from there, walk south (away from the city) along St Kilda Road. This is approximately a ten-minute walk across Princess Bridge over the Yarra River into the Gardens. If disembarking at Richmond Station, walk east along Swan Street towards the Gardens. This is a fifteen-minute walk. Stop 17 on St Kilda Road and Grant Street is the closest stop and all north and south bound trams running along St Kilda Road stop there.  Catch trams travelling along St Kilda Road which are numbered 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72 and disembark at Stop 17. The main gates of the Music Bowl are a three-minute walk from the stop. Travelling by bus Catch buses 216, 219 or 220 along St Kilda Road. For more information about travelling to the venue by bus, visit the Public Transport Victoria website Travelling by private car Street parking in and around the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Linlithgow Avenue and St Kilda Road) is extremely limited. If driving into the city, patrons have the option of using the Arts Centre car park which is located at the rear of the Arts Centre.  The entrance is located at the corner of Sturt and Kavanagh Streets, Southbank.  This is a paid parking facility and is open 24hours.  Please note it can fill very quickly on some nights. Please note Linlithgow Avenue will be closed from 5am on the 23rd December until midnight 24th December. Special parking arrangements If you have special parking needs please phone the venue to make arrangements on 03 9281 8000.   20 Dec 2021
A group of people siting on low chairs, dressed in Christmas theme

What to bring and what not to bring to…

Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI is nearly here! Hopefully you have booked your tickets and started making plans for a night of celebration and song. To help you have the best night possible we've put together a short list of what to bring, and what things are best left at home. We also encourage you to download the Service Victoria app on your phone and link your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate for easy check in to the venue. To ensure everyone can enjoy the magic of Carols by Candlelight, we have accessibility resources available including an access key and audio description. Please view our accessibility information to find out more. What to bring: Your copy or copies of the Carols by Candlelight Songbook, available to download. Comfortable clothing appropriate to the weather, including hats and sunglasses for sun safety and rain-jackets or ponchos in case of rain. Collapsible prams are also welcome, although these must be cloaked when you arrive. Low fold out chairs, no greater than 20cm in height Picnic blankets, cushions, and umbrellas. Please note umbrellas must be closed during performances as they restrict other patrons’ views. Picnics are welcome in appropriate containers (see below), along with your picnic blankets. Sealed water or refreshments (no alcohol). Your loudest and proudest singing voice and lots of Christmas cheer! Please note that the venue is only accepting contactless payment and bar, merchandise and food transactions are cashless. There will be no ATM on site.   What to leave at home: Elevated seating – higher than 20cm. A limited number of chairs will be available to hire at the time of ticket purchase. Alcohol Knives of any kind (cheese or otherwise!) Glass bottles Metal cutlery (plastic cutlery is permitted) Drones or any other flying equipment Professional cameras Cameras with detachable lenses Professional recording or broadcasting devices Any item that you intend (or such quantities of the item from which Management can reasonably infer that you intend to distribute, hawk, sell, offer, expose for sale or display for marketing or promotional purposes Illicit substances Animals (except for registered assistance animals) Hard sided coolers and eskies Firecrackers, flares, explosives Flammable liquids Firearms Lasers or laser pointers Weapons and any other items which could impede safety or people’s enjoyment.   Please note that bag checks will take place at the gate prior to entry and prohibited items may be refused entry or confiscated. We're looking forward to seeing you all at Carols by Candlelight and we hope you have a fantastic time with your friends and family. Don't forget to share your photos and tag @carolsbycandlelight_aus 20 Dec 2021
Members of the Melbourne Gospel Choir and Vision Australia staff excitedly stand on the driver's side of a red AAMI cheer van on the lawn of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Carols is back with crowds and a new…

  Vision Australia is thrilled to announce AAMI as the official presenting partner for the 84th Carols by Candlelight, held at Art Centre Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl this Christmas Eve. In a year when so many friends and families have been kept apart, Vision Australia is also excited to confirm that up to a 10,000-strong audience will be invited back, in line with the Victorian Government’s post-lockdown framework. Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton said, “We are truly thrilled to welcome back the thousands of people who make the annual trip to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve. Coming together as a family is what this event is all about, which is why we’re delighted AAMI will be by our side as the official presenting partner this year. “Vision Australia has provided over 150 years of support services, aids and equipment to help people who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose and it’s because of these shared values that partnerships like this one will go a long way towards helping the over 2,300 families whose children rely upon our services each year,” he added. Since 1969, AAMI has played an incredible role helping generations of Australians overcome adversity. Supporting Australians during tough times, AAMI is an organisation synonymous with the principles that Vision Australia applies in helping families and their children achieve the greatest levels of independence. Suncorp CEO Insurance Product and Portfolio Lisa Harrison said, “At AAMI, actions speak louder than words and we really felt that this was an important way for our organisation to give back at Christmas time and help children in need. As one of Australia’s leading insurers, we know the important role we play in supporting communities and we’re proud to be helping families and children through Vision Australia in this way. “Live entertainment has been one of the hardest hit industries during this global pandemic and we understand the joy that this incredible and iconic event brings to families and the local communities. We look forward to supporting our top Australian musical performers and we welcome the opportunity to be a part of this iconic musical tradition,” she added. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl will again be the epicentre of Christmas celebrations and event organisers will take every reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of all patrons, artists and staff. The event will operate under the Art Centre Melbourne’s COVIDSafe and Wellbeing Plan and will be a fully vaccinated event for those 12 years and over. Tickets to Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI will go on sale Wednesday November 17 at 2pm AEDT. For exclusive presale access, sign up to the Carols Club.   Read the full media release here. 03 Nov 2021