Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine after organisers performed a u-turn by reinstating the official ticket agency that was dramatically fired just last week.
Ticket sales for the annual music event, which is to take place in Kiev in May, were due to begin on February 6. However, Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee made a last-minute decision to strip locally-based Concert.ua of its official ticket partner status.
It is believed the week-long postponement was due to protests from rival firms following a tender process.
While tickets are now on sale through Concert.ua, the event has been further rocked by the mass resignation of the entire local organising committee.
Twenty-one senior members, including two executive producers, the commercial director, the event manager and the head of security, have departed citing a “lack of transparency in making decisions regarding key areas of operations”.
The former staff say they were shut out of the organisation of the contest following the appointment of a new head of the competition last December, whereupon “the work of our team was completely blocked”. It was reported in December that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is the event producer, had made threats to strip Ukraine of the event over concerns about ticketing, travel arrangements and infrastructure.
Speaking last week, Jon Ola Sand, EBU executive supervisor, said: “We are disappointed with the delay to the start of ticket sales for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, but are working closely with host broadcaster UA:PBC to resolve this situation. The EBU recognises that any tender process needs to be transparent and fair, and hope[s] that tickets can go on sale at the earliest possible opportunity.”