No crowds for Carols by Candlelight

Vision Australia has announced no crowds will attend this year’s Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne on Christmas Eve.

Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton said having a healthy and COVID-free Christmas remains the top priority, as well as the safety of the public, its staff and volunteers.

“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,” he 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.”

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 added, “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.”

A full line-up will be announced closer to the event.

Last week Carols in the Domain announced it would move indoors but is yet to confirm it will have an audience.


  1. I don’t get this at all. Look Im not a big Carols by Candlelight fan, but I do know like the Melbourne Cup its a tradition and something that makes you feel everything is normal. And I hated that there was no one allowed at the cup – when they could have had a t least dozens of people there, as Flemington is a wide open space perfect for social distancing as is The Myer Music bowl. Its really overboard. I agree if they can have crowds with no distancing and the footy how can they not have these events. Victoria being way over cautious again, Extremely sad.

  2. Maev....Sydney

    We are in a pandemic….still, no one really understands the virus….many things to be taken into consideration….every is basically flying by the seat of their pants….damned if you do, damned if you don’t…..
    Easy to sit at ones keyboard and be critical….we are not wearing the consequences.

  3. Same reason that Qld allows five figures at the stadium but bans schoolies. At a stadium, they can ensure social distancing by ensuring fans are an appropriate distance apart. At a non seating event like CBC or Schoolies, they can’t.

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