After months of speculation, Vision Australia has confirmed Carol’s By Candlelight will continue in 2020, but the event will be held without crowds.
The decision means the traditional event will look very different in 2020, without its large crowd of families waving candles in the air.
In a media statement published on its website, Vision Australia has indicated it has made the decision after working with stakeholders on possible options and using the most up to date public health advice available.
Carols is the latest Melbourne institution to make the decision to proceed this year without crowds. The decision comes despite the event being held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, a spacious open outdoor arena.
Cricket Australia remains hopeful of having limited crowds attend the MCG on Boxing Day for the Test Cricket.
The announcement comes a week after Sydney’s Carols in the Domain confirmed it will be held in a controlled indoor environment.
Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton explained the decision stating;
“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.”
“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.
Nine’s Director of Television, Michael Healy added;
‘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.”
The full cast line-up for Carols will be announced closer to the event.