Update at 11:15 GMT: KAN’s CEO has now instructed Leean to cancel the tickets that were sold to senior Israeli officials and to put them back in stock for future sale. Our original article remains below.
After months of anticipation and speculation, Eurovision 2019 tickets finally went on sale last Thursday. Hundreds of thousands of fans swarmed on the Leean website, securing their tickets to the various shows. Within just a few hours, all tickets for the grand final were sold out, leaving many fans disappointed and upset.
As a result, social media was very active during the weekend, with many fans expressing anger about the lack of tickets. Many people reported that they faced technical problems on the website which resulted in an inability to complete their transactions.
KAN decided to check these complaints and, according to Israeli media, has found what they define as “irregularities”. This includes the distribution of about 300 tickets to senior officials in the Israeli sports industry and to family members of the hosts — Erez Tal, Bar Refaeeli and Assi Azar. Curiously, it was also reported that Netta Barzilai’s family weren’t able to get any tickets. They might miss their daughter’s performance — and her passing on the trophy to the Eurovision 2019 winner.
Sale on hold
Due to its findings, KAN instructed Leean to put the sale on hold and it is now conducting an investigation into these irregularities. This includes the questioning of Leean’s CEO who has said that Leean acted exactly as instructed and that they received specific orders to allocate tickets to these people. That’s not all — in addition to the alleged irregularities on behalf of Leean, KAN also claims that many tickets are now being illegally resold as their original buyers are trying to turn a profit. The Israeli minister of interior affairs, Mr Gilad Erdan, has instructed police to investigate this matter and to file charges.
Dare to buy
There is also some good news in the whole ticketing saga. It appears that more tickets will be available, including for the grand final, once the investigation is completed. This is scheduled to take place in April when tickets go back on sale. Additionally, there are reportedly many tickets still available, regardless of these incidents. This includes tickets to both semi-finals, rehearsals, family shows and the green room. However, this has not been officially confirmed by KAN and cannot be verified as the sale is now frozen.
It should also be noted that the Tel Aviv municipality has its own plans to address fan disappointment. For those who will not be able to purchase tickets to any of the shows, the Eurovillage at Charles Clore Park will offer a live screening of the semi-finals and grand final and it will also include a food market. The municipality is also organising celebrations throughout the city at outdoor stages.
Are you going to try to buy tickets in the next wave in April? Do you think that distributing tickets to the hosts’ family members is fair? Let us know in the comments below.