Eurovision fans are the life of every edition of the contest, cheering the loudest and waving the flags that give the show its larger-than-life, sporting-event feel. That’s one reason why every year Eurovision organisers reserve special fan packages — and at a discounted rate — that give fans prime seating (or standing) near the stage during the live shows. On the one hand the tradition is a thank you for being the lifeblood of the contest. On the other hand it makes for good TV: You want Eurovision lovers filling the front rows…not corporate sponsors in suits or casual viewers who simply have the money to turn up.
Unfortunately this seemed to be lost on the organisers of Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine, who, just hours before the official launch of ticket sales this evening, had made no plans for fans. Thankfully they have now reversed their decision following fan outrage and, we suspect, EBU nudging and WILL sell fan packages after all.
Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand confirmed the news on Twitter.
For those who asked: Fan tickets will be made available through OGAE after all, as they confirmed. More info in the days to come
— Jon Ola Sand (@jonolasand) February 14, 2017
Before the reversal
Eurovision fans the world over were dealt the unfortunate blow on February 13 when the international bureau of the Organisation générale des amateurs de l’Eurovision (OGAE) revealed that there would be no special arrangements for fans this year — despite their prolonged efforts and indeed support from the EBU.
— Dan Kelsey ? (@mr_kelsey_) February 14, 2017
Eurovision 2017: Fan ticket packages
OGAE fan clubs received the news yesterday. This is the message that the United Kingdom chapter of OGAE sent to its members.
This is a very disappointing and unfortunate post to have to write. We have now received communication from the OGAE International Bureau, who have been informed tonight that, regrettably, there will be no special arrangements for OGAE members, and you are advised to try in the public sale which gets underway tomorrow evening.
This is obviously hugely disappointing, as the international OGAE network has had regular discussions with the EBU (who have been very supportive) and the host broadcaster, and we were seemingly on track for an OGAE pre-sale. In fact data about ticket requests from each club was formally submitted today at the request of the agent and host broadcaster, so to have this news come just a few hours later is a huge shock and disappointment.
In further disappointing news, we have received confirmation that there will be no “F2”-style accreditations, and OGAE members will not have access to Euroclub (which we understand will be a small and not necessarily Eurovision-themed venue).
Please understand that we had been hoping right up to this afternoon to have a great ticketing arrangement for fans. All of us on the OGAE UK Committee (who, let us make clear, will try in the public sale like everyone else) would like to thank the OGAE International Bureau for all their strenuous events, which have included visits to Kyiv.
An email will go out this evening to all those who were in the ticket ballot.
Sorry for such disappointing news after many years of successful ticket allocations for OGAE members.
The OGAE UK Committee
— E. Schmidt (@berlin_esc) February 14, 2017
Eurovision 2017: No Fan Accreditation
The message sent to OGAE UK members also stated that there will be no F2 press accreditation.
F2 status and what that grants fans varies by year, but it has, at times, gives select fans from each country the chance to attend press conferences and rehearsals, and allowed them to access Euroclub.
According to the same statement, Euroclub will be relatively small (and therefore certainly smaller than the purpose-built venue in Stockholm) — and it won’t be Eurovision-themed.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) February 13, 2017