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Under-fire Eurovision chiefs defend ticketing policy

Eurovision 2019 organisers are certain this month’s event in Tel Aviv will sell out despite poor sales as fans baulk at high ticket prices.

The show is to take place at the relatively small Expo Tel Aviv, but despite a capacity of just over 7,000 there are still huge numbers of tickets available for the semi-finals and live dress rehearsals.

While the final, on May 18, is sold out, the Jerusalem Post reports that as of Tuesday afternoon more than 2,500 seats were available for the first semi-final on May 14, and close to 2,000 remained unsold for the second semi on May 16.

Organisers KAN, the Israeli national broadcaster, are charging up to $350 for semi-final tickets, with even restricted view seats costing more than $150. The cheapest tickets for the rehearsal events cost around $40.

“We’re not worried,” Sharon Ben-David, KAN’s Eurovision spokeswoman, told The Jerusalem Post. “The hall will be full, we’re not concerned. It will happen. People will buy the tickets. It’s important to us, but we’re optimistic.”

However, William Lee Adams, who runs the Eurovision blog wiwibloggs, said ticket sales are unusually slow for the event and believes that is because prices are simply too high.

“If even Israelis on Israeli salaries aren’t willing to pay these ticket prices, then organisers really need to ask themselves tough questions,” Adams told the Jerusalem Post.

“I’ve never seen a situation where there are so many unsold seats this close to the show. “It’s particularly surprising given that the venue is significantly smaller than in recent years. With lower ticket prices, larger venues have been able to put more bums on seats and much more quickly.”

Image: KAN

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