With restrictions governing large-scale live events during the COVID-19 pandemic still in place, and the safety and well-being of the community a priority, Council has made the difficult decision to cancel this year's Monash Carols by Candlelight at Jells Park.
The annual Carols by Candlelight event is a well-loved and highly-anticipated event attracting around 25,000 people every year, and the decision to cancel the event was a difficult one for Council.
Last year’s event was also cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic but was held as an online event. Council, however, has decided not to repeat the online event in 2021.
It is one of several changes to the calendar of live events across Monash over summer.
As part of the State Government’s roadmap to recovery, large-scale live events will not resume until January at the earliest. Monash mayor Brian Little said, while he understood people would be disappointed that an event as eagerly-awaited as the carols had been cancelled, the health and safety of the community was paramount.
“The well-being and safety of our community is our top priority,” Cr Little said. “The carols event is many months in the planning and, at this point, the risks associated with holding a public event the size of Carols by Candlelight makes it impossible to proceed.
“We have also decided not to hold a virtual event this year. We tried last year but it didn’t connect with the community as we would have hoped. We are very conscious that the changes to how we have conducted business and communicated with family and friends over the past 18 months has probably left us all a bit ‘online-fatigued’.
“But we remain committed to bringing a live Carols by Candlelight event in 2022, bigger and better than ever if possible, and I look forward to joining you at Jells Park for Christmas 2022.”
To ensure community safety remains a priority, Council is re-imagining all live events for the summer and will deliver small COVIDSafe performances and events in open spaces across the City.
“It will be a program that encourages families and community members to get outdoors and enjoy some outstanding entertainment and events in a COVIDSafe environment,” Cr Little said.
With a focus on activating public spaces, Council will deliver a program that celebrates culture and supports community health and well-being. All event plans and activations will have detailed COVIDSafe plans and practices in place.
Subject to State Government restrictions, Council has planned a Christmas program of daily activations across Monash featuring roving Christmas characters, acoustic duos, lighting activations and opportunities for children to engage with Santa.
The Monash Summer Series of cultural performances for small audiences, will be held across the City in January in small areas and local parks while Australia Day celebrations are planned for 26 January and the multi-day Clayton Festival is set for late February.
Live at Warrawee, a one-day festival featuring live music, food trucks and children’s activities, is lined up for 26 March at Warrawee Park in Oakleigh.
Media Contact: Jo Robertson 0418 391 979 or Joanne.Robertson@monash.vic.gov.au