It’s becoming an unwelcome Eurovision tradition – tickets go on sale and there are long waits, slow websites, sold-out signs, chaos and heartbreak. This year was no exception.

The AXS ticketing website struggled to cope with the load when tickets went on sale at 10:00 this morning. Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported on the frustration that users experienced, through long waits, sold-out shows, and discovering tickets for sale on resale website.

They quote Daniel Stålbo, communications director at the Stockholm Globe Arenas, saying, “There has been heavy pressure on the site. It always is, but this time it was extra.”

Aftonbladet also note that more tickets are due to go on sale in the new year.

The waiting room of death

The ticket-buying experience was stressful. After clicking through to buy tickets, users were placed in a virtual “waiting room”. This was done to make the purchasing process fairer, but “waiting room” became a painfully accurate name, with many ESC fans reporting waits of well over one hour.

The agony of waiting in the online queue for #Eurovision2016 tickets. #Eurovision

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

But even getting through to finally buy tickets wasn’t a guarantee of availability, with the Grand Final soon offering only a handful of single seats.

no-results

There was a lot of unhappiness.

 

And as patient ESC fans were still waiting to get out of the Waiting Room of Death, tickets were starting to appear on secondary ticketing websites. Viagogo currently has dozens of tickets for sale to the grand final, including standing-room tickets which were only available to OGAE fan club members.

History repeating?

If there’s a weird deja vu feeling, it’s because there were very similar issues when the tickets for Vienna went on sale last year. Technical issues, tickets quickly getting sold out, tickets ending up on resale websites – it’s all happened before. Despite the issues from 2015 being well known, the same problems popped up again for the 2016 tickets.

Did you get the tickets you wanted? Or were you left disappointed? Share your story below.

31 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ana
Ana
4 years ago

Thank you for your kind wishes, Österrike. You had a tough experience, I realize! I did consider joining the Spanish OGAE but a few years ago they told me that although I was welcome to join it didn’t guarantee that I would get tickets with them as the members had priority according to how long they had been in the OGAE. Not sure if it’s the same now but I do recall being told that as a new member it would not be easy. I know that semifinals are not sold.out and I could even buy the tickets at the… Read more »

Julian
Julian
4 years ago

Tickets should be only sold nominal. If one can’t participate he gives back the ticket at least 2 weeks before the show. And those remaining tickets are sold again by organizers 2 weeks before the show, again nominal but this time with no return possible. Easy plan, and you have the full list of participants quite some time before the shows.
However there are probably some hidden benefits from the current chaotic situation.

Österrike
Österrike
4 years ago

Ana: I have got my tickets for 2015 not until the 3rd sellout round. The first rounds last year drove me nuts and I even ordered the wrong tickets there even twice, so I wrote furious emails to the ticket seller oeticket.com, but they did not give a sh*t. I was soooo depressed and I could freak out even now thinking about this abysmal experiences. However I got the best ticket I wanted in the 3rd round and even when I then queued for the Jury Final, tickets were available for the Live Final at the ticket desk inside the… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago

Try on your smart phones. Once I wanted to buy a ticket for concert as well on this Swedish site and it didn’t let me then I tried on my phone and there it worked 🙂

Ana
Ana
4 years ago

Thank you, Robyn. I will certainly try again, I’m not giving up. Are you going to try to get a Final ticket or will you settle for the two semifinals?

DR
DR
4 years ago

They should do what they did at the London Olympics and have a ballot. You put down what you want during a set time period and the computers arrange what you get, trying to give the best option for everyone. As you are assigned tickets, its hard for scalpers to buy loads just to resell on the resale sights. It seemed to work quite well according to the British Press, and as most buying were British the press would have been quite scathing if it was disastrous.

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

When did they first start selling tickets? Years ago, I think you just applied to the broadcaster and got free tickets on a lottery basis. I also think that the local audience should get priority, rather than the rabid Eurofans. They’re the ones paying for it, after all.

Ana
Ana
4 years ago

Heartbreaking experience for my son and me as we live in Spain and our only options were to obtain tickets online. We are both huge ESC fans and we both love Sweden and even watch Melodifestivalen glued to our computer screens. We want to fulfill just one dream and it is to travel to Stockholm to see the final. I took a day off from work to get tickets but all that happened was that I sat for almost two hours staring at the “it will soon be your turn” message , and I watched how each of the sections… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
4 years ago

I got tickets but I’m sitting in the c row will I be able the c its like the worst spot I think haha

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Robyn: Counterfeiting also matters when it comes to ticket security. Someone just got busted for selling New England Patriots tickets at Craigslist.com, which turned out to be fake.

If you’re still looking for that Grand Final ticket, make sure you’re getting the real McCoy when they send it to you. The EBU will probably claim they are not responsible if you end up with a phony ticket.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Robyn: It all boils down to ticket (sales) security. Here in the U.S., the NFL is trying to get a handle on it, especially when it comes to the Super Bowl, where ticket security is very tight. Methinks maybe the EBU decided to leave ticket security entirely to the resellers; the result being what you see now.

Marcus (day one)
Marcus (day one)
4 years ago

I thought they weren’t allowed to resell the tickets?

I think the website crashes because ticket resale sites have mods running all day trying to purchase tickets.

They shouldn’t be allowed to resell the tickets.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Sarah: Yup. >:-/ Scalping is a worldwide phenomenon now. I imagine it’ll be worse now than in recent past, now that the EBU has 43 countries signed on to perform. Assuming the deadline hasn’t come and gone, if they get a 44th to join in, the scalping will hit a fever-pitch.

Arianna
4 years ago

Wow, I count myself vurrry lucky.. But I did get the long waiting room wait. Semi final ticket purchasing went very smoothly. I didn’t get any glitches with that platform. But for the final, I was in the waiting room till the tickets sold out. I hope everyone is successful in the next rounds!

MTD
MTD
4 years ago

I have one idea that nobody would want, but I think that it would work perfectly: – sale the tickets only on specific dates, two or three weeks before the shows, physical sales, no online sales, no nothing – open the doors for ticket holders three hours before the actual show and close them an hour and a half before the show. If there are no-show’s, sell them again in a 30 minutes window before the “hour before on-air” show that goes every year or something – NO BLOCK TICKETING (Semi, FInal or whatever). This may seem unreasonable, but how… Read more »

Foxreyna
Foxreyna
4 years ago

If this is the case, I’m not going to go to ESC 2016. It would be a waste of my time to just buy a few tickets.

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
4 years ago

@osterrike, Okay thanks for the information! 🙂

David Thielen
4 years ago

I write enterprise software for a living (actually I now manage people who do it). Writing software like this to not get overloaded is easy. There’s no excuse for this kind of problem. And yet it happens year after year.

I guess someone has to hire the worst programmers. It’s a pain that the ESC ticketing agencies do so though.

Sarah
Sarah
4 years ago

Disgrace how people but just to resell them for triple the price!

Dar
Dar
4 years ago

to stop tickets being sold afterwards on website like viagogo why can the tickets only be used by whoever purchased them .. this needs to stop as fans deserve to be there and not a money making oppurtunity for others

Österrike
Österrike
4 years ago

@jr esc nl: when I was there for the Jury Final, there was ticket distribution desk selling tickets even for the live show. Well, I didnt buy it because 2x 220 EUR for standing tickets was unaffordable for me, so I rather enjoyed my Category Gold ticket for the Grand Jury Final. My actual tickets I got at the 3rd sellout on the Internet. The first two rounds were painful and absolutely distressing. Grand Live Final tickets were at no time available, and I was always ready on point to click and buy. However, this year I will not get… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

Anyone who put their ticket up for re-sale are scum, and especially if you’re an OGAE member – you should be ashamed.

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
4 years ago

@Österrike so you can actually buy a ticket at the arena?

Brad
Brad
4 years ago

I only waited 2 minutes in the waiting room before I was allowed to enter to buy the tickets, however once I was in there it was riddled with errors and glitches. Copious error messages and pop ups saying tickets no longer available etc. Disappointing that it’s happening all over again.

Jaz
Jaz
4 years ago

After an hour and a half of waiting (and yelling and sobbing) on four different devices, plus error messages popping up every time it was “my turn”, I ended up with a ticket to both televised semis. The final was the one I wanted most, but I’m counting myself lucky to have scored what I did, and I’ll try again in the new year. I maaaay have recovered from today by then….what a nightmare!!

mawnck
mawnck
4 years ago

All this is true of every major event that sells tickets online. There are no solutions. Sometimes life bees that way.

Perhaps they should add a question to the form: “Are you a scalper?” That will surely be effective.

Jaccobabe
Jaccobabe
4 years ago

I wasn’t interresting in buying tickets, but it’s still extremely annoying.

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

Same procedure as every year, then!
I stopped bothering years ago!

Österrike
Österrike
4 years ago

I couldnt be less bothered by that more. Last year I was so stressed only to realize that were tickets sold on Final night.

Semifinals were not sold out, they never are.

I will go to Sweden, be it with a ticket or not, but I will be in the shows that I want. I know it. Bye.