Christmas is rapidly approaching, but before we break out the roast it’s time to usher in the festive season with Carols by Candlelight, which is celebrating its 76th year. If you want to experience it live, these four festive tips will help you make the most of the event.
1. Get Your Tickets ASAP
Great tickets are still available but the selection is becoming limited, especially if you want to sit in the stalls. They’re not cheap at $180 for adults and $90 for concession holders, but knowing the money’s supporting blind and low vision kids should make it easier to part with your cash.
Lawn tickets are the most budget-friendly, especially for families. Adults cost $70, concessions are $40, and two adults and two kids can enjoy the show for $180. Arrive early though, as these tickets are unreserved. Gates open at 4:30, but many keen carollers camp out all day to claim the best piece of grass.
Carols tickets are available from Ticketmaster outlets and online.
2. Book an Innercity Hotel
It’s just not worth driving from the suburbs in to the Bowl. Traffic is usually bumper to bumper, and when you get there the parking on Linlithgow Avenue and St Kilda Road is very limited. You could utilise the parking spaces at the back of the nearby Arts Centre, but that’ll cost you $25 for the night. And with a projected finish time of 11 pm, you’ll face a really late night if you’re driving home.
Instead it’s smarter to make a night of it and book one of the innercity Melbourne hotels. I love the historic Hotel Charsfield, which boasts old-world perks like snooker and reading rooms. Catch the number 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 or 72 tram from just outside its doors and get off at either stop 16 or 17. Both are just three minutes’ walk from the Bowl’s main gates. Then you can indulge in some Melbourne sightseeing the next day!
3. Bring Your Camera
Carols by Candlelight is always a star-studded affair and this year’s will be no different with David Campbell, Harrison Craig, Anthony Callea, Kate Ceberano and heaps more on the bill. If you’ve splurged on stall seats, make sure you bring your camera to catch performance snaps. If you arrive early you might also meet one of the stars arriving before the show, and your friends will never believe you if you don’t have the photographic evidence!
4. Brush Up On Your Carols
There’s nothing worse than catching your mug on TV as you stare blankly through those lesser known verses of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” Songbooks will be distributed on the night of, but these become increasingly difficult to read as the evening wears on. Start brushing up on the classics now and you’ll be in fine voice on the big day.
The 76th Carols by Candlelight hits the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on December 24. If you can’t make it to Melbourne you can catch the broadcast on Channel Nine. This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project. What do you love about the carols?
Image source: DocklandsTony @ Flickr