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
Santa on stage at Carols by Candlelight

Get ready for a star studded line-up

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight is synonymous with Christmas Eve, and this year’s presentation promises to be especially significant. With the public absent from the Bowl for the first time in the event’s history, Carols by Candlelight will be exclusive to you at home. So, sing along and settle in for what will be a very special night of television. We are honoured to have some familiar faces and brand-new stars will grace the stage to perform everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and carols, including: • The cast of the internationally acclaimed hit musical: Hamilton • Singer-songwriter and ARIA Award winner Dami Im • Powerhouse vocalist Casey Donovan • Jamie Cullum, the fastest-selling jazz musician in British history • Rock music singer-songwriter Ella Hooper • Viral sensation and children’s favourite Jimmy Rees • Number one recording artist Isaiah Firebrace • Back by popular demand, Rob Mills and fellow music star Bobby Fox • The Voice 2020 winner Chris Sebastian • Movie star and opera singer Silvia Colloca and Tenor Michael Leonardi And of course, it wouldn’t be Carols without our favourite family members Marina Prior, David Hobson, Tim Campbell, Anthony Callea, Denis Walter and Silvie Paladino performing your cherished Christmas songs.  As always, these stars will all perform under the baton of musical director, maestro John Foreman AM, assisted by Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight choirmaster, Doug Heywood OAM. Tune into Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight live broadcast from 8pm AEST, December 24 on Channel Nine. To view the full line-up visit our performers page here.    16 Dec 2020
David Campbell and Livinia Nixon in Christmas baubles

Meet your 2020 hosts

  Livinia Nixon will make her co-host debut at this year’s Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight, teaming up with fan-favourite David Campbell for a night of Christmas cheer.  “I am thrilled to be involved in my first Carols by Candlelight alongside David, in what has truly been a year like no other,” Livinia said. “There has been so much hardship and struggle, and to quote one of my favourite carols, ‘We need a little Christmas’. I’m hoping we can help people focus on the joy of Christmas and what we have to be thankful for.” Carols by Candlelight will look a little different this year, with no audience on site due to public health considerations. Instead, we invite you all to pull out the picnic rug, settle in front of the TV and spend #carolsathome with us this Christmas Eve. “I always love this time of year. I think this year, more than ever, we all need to celebrate the festive season with joy, with loved ones and with carols,” David said. “It will be different not seeing the crowd holding candles up in the air, or the kids singing along, but this Christmas Eve will be as magical as ever. And remember, Santa Claus and his reindeers have special permission to travel to every country in the world to spread the Christmas cheer.” Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight will air live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl from 8pm AEST, December 24 on Channel Nine. Fans who are blind or have low vision can tune in to their local Vision Australia Radio service to listen to our audio described broadcast. Sign up to the Carols Club for further updates.  27 Nov 2020