Carols By Candlelight

Christmas Carols by John Cvetko

If you are in Melbourne around Christmas time, don’t miss the most popular Christmas event known as Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight.

This huge event is a massive Christmas celebration where families come together to sing along to Christmas carols by either attending in person at the Myer Music Bowl or by watching it on TV.

Vision Australia’s Carols By Candlelight 2016, Melbourne Dates & Tickets

The Carols by Candlelight celebrations are held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne. This event started way back in 1938 and is by far the biggest Christmas celebration in Australia.

This traditional event is held outdoors and involves live music and singing performances of popular Australian artists, famous TV personalities, as well as local choirs. This event is telecast live on TV each year on Christmas Eve, so those who can’t attend in person can enjoy singing along to carols from the comfort of their home.

In past years, performers have included Delta Goodrem, Taylor Henderson, Silvie Paladino, David Hobson, Anthony Calea, John Foreman, Denis Walter and is hosted by Lisa Wilkinson and David Campbell.

The carols event in Melbourne also includes a spectacular fireworks display. Thousands flock to the music bowl year after year, where they bring a picnic blanket and a few nibbles, and settle in to listen to traditional Christmas music as the sun goes down.

To get to the carols, catch a train and get off at Flinders Street Station. Walk for 10 minutes down Sydney Road, and follow the signs for the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

You can bring the following items into the event: rugs, cushions, low back rests, picnics, collapsible prams and sealed or empty plastic water bottles up to 650mls. Alcohol is not permitted, nor are high backed chairs – this is to ensure that you don’t block other carollers sitting behind you on the lawn.

The Carols by Candlelight will be televised on Channel 9 from 8pm, or you can listen to the carols on 3AW (693 AM radio).

Carols By Candlelight Information

Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Kings Domain,
Linlithgow Avenue,
Melbourne, VIC
  Event Dates:
24 December 2016
  Event Times:
Gates open: 4.30pm
Pre-show entertainment: 5.30pm
Main show: 8.00pm
Phone: 1300 84 74 66
  Event Prices/Admission:
A-Reserve Seating
Adult: From $180
Concession: From $90

General Admission Lawn Seating
Adult: $70
Child (under 16yrs): $40
Child (under 3yrs): Free
Concession: $40
Family Pass (2Ad + 2 Ch): $160
Wheelchair: $60

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Just wondering when we can purchase tickets for the rehearsal night on the 23rd Dec 2016 as I can’t find where to purchase them please.

    • Hi Bev,

      I have been advised by Vision Australia that tickets will be on sale in early December. The Christmas Eve Carols tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster, so I would assume the same for the rehearsal show.

      All the best,

    • Hi Emma,

      I have been advised by Vision Australia that tickets will be on sale in early December. The Christmas Eve Carols tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster, so I would assume the same for the rehearsal show.

      Kind Regards,

  • Hi there

    I am interested in purchasing tickets for the rehearsal night on the 23rd December 2016 but i can’t seem to find tickets as yet. Do you know when they go on sale?
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Louise,

      There is no information from Vision Australia as yet about the rehearsal event.

      However in previous years, tickets have gone on sale in early December through Ticketmaster.

      Hope this helps!

  • Hi there,

    Previous years there has been an act for the young children to enjoy, such as Hi 5. Will there be an act (or a couple of acts) for young children?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Carly,

      Yes, there will be entertainment for kids as there is every year. We are still waiting for Vision Australia to announce the performers for 2016, however you will definitely get a visit from Santa as well as a number of children’s performers who open the show every year. The televised show starts at 8.30pm, howeve the children’s performers are usually entertaining kids from around 5.30pm.

      I will update our page when the performers are announced and I note that tickets will go on sale on the 15th of September through Ticketmaster.

      Best regards,

  • Hi. Just wondering if there’s a family price for the A-Reserve seating. We are actually a family of five. With thanks.

    • Hi Melindy,

      Child and family passes are not available for A-Reserve seats but note that children under three seated on an adult knee are admitted free.

      Family tickets are available for lawn seating for $160 (2Ad + 2Ch) and an extra child will cost $40.


  • Hi, How much is it to go to the rehearsals on the 23rd of December 2016, What time do rehearsals start and can you please tell me if Lauren Nicholson will be preforming again? Kindest Regards, Belinda

    • Hi Belinda,

      I am unable to find any current information online as Vision Australia hasn’t updated their website for 2016.

      However, in previous years, gates opened at around 3pm and ticket prices were around $20 for adults. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list of performers as they will be released later in 2016. Check back with us and I will update the page once further info is released.


  • Hi there, Can you advise if there will be interpreting for deaf people on the stage on onto the big screens for my family member who is deaf? Or will it be on the TV? It would be so great! Thank you

    • Hi Melissa,

      I cannot find any current information as yet for 2016, but I have been to many Carols by Candlelight shows in the past and there has not been any Auslan interpreter on the stage, nor do they have captions on the screen.

      Captioning is available on all digital channels which may be the best way to enjoy this fabulous event with your family.

      Best regards,

  • Just wondering if it’s fine to take babies under 2 into the A Reserve seating obviously the would be sharing a seat but we would like a seat not sitting on the lawn area preferably.

    • Hi Terry,

      Reserve seating is perfectly fine for children of all ages. This is a family friendly event, and kids are welcome in all areas. Most kids will fall asleep after the children’s performers in any event, so hopefully you will be able to enjoy a peaceful Carols by Candlelight with your little one asleep on your lap!

      Have a great time at the 2016 Carols!


    • Hi Will,

      In previous years, tickets have gone on sale in around the 2nd week of October. Check back with us and we will update our page once tickets are released.


    • Hi Melissa,

      The simple answer is yes, you can see the stage from the lawn area. All of the lawn area is “general admission” so the earlier you get to the Myer Music Bowl, the closer you will get.

      The lawn is graded gently from front to back, so gives a ‘stadium seating’ effect. High chairs are not permitted, so you wont have your view blocked by other concert-goers.

      I have been to the Carols many times, have only ever purchased lawn seating and have always been able to see the stage. Like any concert, the performers may be small, but the sound is amazing!

      I hope you enjoy Carols by Candlelight!