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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 www.ptv.gov.au
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 www.ptv.vic.gov.au
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
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.
Knives of any kind (cheese or otherwise!)
Metal cutlery (plastic cutlery is permitted)
Drones or any other flying equipment
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
Animals (except for registered assistance animals)
Hard sided coolers and eskies
Firecrackers, flares, explosives
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
David and Ally return as your 2021 hosts
Back for their second year together, David Campbell and Ally Langdon will host Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by AAMI live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Friday, December 24, at 8.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
“I can’t wait to be back hosting Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight this year. I love Christmas! It’s such a special time of the year, especially when you have small kids. I couldn’t be happier to be part of Australia’s much-loved Christmas Eve tradition and to help raise money for children and their families who are blind or have low vision,” Ally said.
“Christmas is such a lovely time of the year, and we go all out in our house. I’m honoured to once again be a part of such a Christmas Eve tradition, and to be able to bring some Christmas joy to families all over Australia. It’s always a wonderful night for a great cause, raising much-needed funds for Vision Australia, and after such a tough year for millions of Australians, I’m so glad that crowds are back to help lift our Christmas spirits,” David said.
David and Ally will be joined again by Channel 9’s Carols family stalwarts including David Hobson, Marina Prior, Silvie Paladino, Anthony Callea, Tim Campbell, and Denis Walter, with more exciting performers to be announced in the lead-up to the event.
Sign up to the Carols Club for further updates.
08 Nov 2021
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
Eddie McGuire announced as new co-host
Eddie McGuire will step in to replace David Campbell as co-host of the 83rd Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight, following a new outbreak of COVID-19 in David’s hometown of Sydney and uncertainty around interstate travel.
“My fondest memories of Christmas as a little boy are of watching Brian Naylor host Carols by Candlelight while helping mum bake for Christmas lunch,” Eddie said.
“We’d then all head off together to midnight mass. To this day, my family and I all sit down and watch Carols by Candlelight every year. In our fast-moving, ever-changing lives, Carols is a Christmas Eve tradition that we all look forward to.
“I genuinely love Christmas. Whether as a little boy or a father, it is the best time of year. We really embrace the Christmas spirit at our house.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching the show every year and I’m really excited and chuffed to be involved.”
In addition to his previously announced co-host, Livinia Nixon, Eddie will be joined by a raft of Australia’s favourite performers including cast members from Hamilton and Come from Away, as well as Dami Im, Casey Donovan, Ella Hooper, Mark Seymour and more. View our performer’s page for the full line-up.
Tune into Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight live broadcast from 8pm AEST, December 24 on Nine and 9Now.
19 Dec 2020
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
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
The countdown is on for Carols by…
With only 50 days until Christmas Eve, the countdown is on for Vision Australia’s beloved Carols by Candlelight from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The event is working closely with broadcast partner, Channel Nine, to produce a magical Carols by Candlelight from the Bowl stage for the millions of people who tune in from around the country.
A significant part of Australia’s Christmas tradition, this year the event will look a little different with no audience on site due to concerns about public health. After working with our stakeholders on the possible options for this year’s event, and using the most up to date public health advice available, Vision Australia has taken the tough decision to change the way this event comes to life due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.
Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton understands Carols by Candlelight is an event near and dear to so many Australians, but having a healthy and COVID-free Christmas remains the top priority, as well as the safety of the public, its staff and the many volunteers who support the event. ‘In our 83 years this is the only time we’ve had to do this so it’s with the utmost disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision,’ Mr Hooton said. ‘While everyone involved would have loved to have had a crowd this year at Carols by Candlelight, we do urge our loyal fans to still be part of the big night with their family and friends from the comfort of their lounge rooms or backyards.’
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne always attracts Australia’s music theatre’s brightest stars and this year is no exception. Audiences are encouraged to deck their living rooms with tinsel, leave out some biscuits for Santa, a carrot for Rudolph, and settle in front of the TV to sing along with the star-studded line-up who will grace the Sidney Myer Music Bowl stage.
Mister Hooton said, ‘Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate, but also to raise money to help children who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose. ‘Next year, we look forward to welcoming back the thousands of people who make the annual pilgrimage to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, enjoying Christmas Eve together again under candlelit skies,’ said Mr Hooton.
Channel Nine’s Director of Television, Michael Healy said, ‘In a year like no other, our broadcast of this year’s Carols by Candlelight will be more special than ever before. Viewers can hope to see all their favourite Carols stars they’ve come to expect as well as some exciting new faces bringing you a magical performance of the sounds of Christmas.'
For all those who usually attend the event in person, we encourage you to tune in to Channel Nine and enjoy what we know is going to be another wonderful Christmas Eve Carols performed by a roll call of Australia’s best artists.’ Arts Centre Melbourne CEO, Claire Spencer, AM said 'Carols at the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl is a cherished Melbourne tradition.
As a long standing partner of Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight, Arts Centre Melbourne would have dearly loved to have welcomed a live audience to the Bowl as a powerful and positive symbol of Melbourne’s recovery. We are respectful of the decision and will continue to work closely with Channel 9 to ensure an amazing Christmas spectacle.’
The full line-up will be announced closer to the event.
Read the full media release here.
Sign up to the Carols Club here.
04 Nov 2020