Eurovision superfans are going to extreme lengths to get their hands on tickets, from setting aside £900 budgets to joining the online queue with four devices.
Tickets for the Eurovision Song Contest – hosted in Liverpool this year – go live on Ticketmaster at midday on Tuesday 7 March, with fans predicting a “hellish” sale.
The UK was chosen to host the annual event after coming second to war-torn Ukraine in 2022, with around 3,000 tickets being made available to displaced Ukrainians living in the UK.
Ticketmaster will be solely responsible for selling tickets, regardless of which country you live in, with tickets for nine live shows in May going on sale tomorrow.
Fans have been advised to prepare for the event by creating an account in advance and ensuring it is verified so they are not held up in the booking process.
Dean Barney, 41, from Cardiff, feared tomorrow’s ticket sales will be “pretty hellish” due to the high demand for tickets with the competition being on home soil.
“I went last year to Italy so I know a bit about how the process works but this year is going to be twice as hectic because it’s in the UK,” he told i.
He said the Eurovision community is expecting the demand for tickets to be “incredible” because UK audiences make up a large part of Eurovision fans even when the competition is abroad.
i understands that demand will be high and although thousands of fans will secure tickets, thousands more will miss out.
Mr Barney predicted that the tickets will sell out within an hour, meaning many fans will be “disappointed”.
“Everyone is panicking today, getting their bank cards ready, preparing to be ready from hours before it starts. So everyone is a bit apprehensive,” he said.
He has prepared by deciding which events he wants to go to and setting aside a budget of £900 for two semi-finals and the final on Saturday 13 May.
“My plan I’m going to have four devices lined up – an iPad, an iPhone, a work laptop, and a personal laptop – and I’ll be there an hour before it starts at midday in the virtual queue,” he said, adding that the final is his “first priority”.
He said spending nearly £1,000 is a “complete no-brainer” as this could be the last time the competition is in the UK in his lifetime.
“I won’t be having a summer holiday this year. I’m going to Liverpool for 10 days,” he added.
Mr Barney said he will feel “quite deflated” if he fails to get a ticket but added that he will still look forward to soaking up the atmosphere in Liverpool.
Asked what he loves about Eurovision, he said: “It’s the community. I’m a gay man; I came out within the last 10 years. I found my own tribe through Eurovision. We’ve got something strong in common.
“When I went to Eurovision last year for the first time, it was welcoming and you really feel like there is a Eurovision family.”
Hannah Harding, 40, from London, said she feels “stressed” about tomorrow’s ticket sale as she does not want to miss out on her “favourite event of the year”.
She is trying to get tickets with three friends, using her work laptop, her phone and her personal laptop. A few friends will also be trying for tickets on her behalf in case she struggles.
“I expect it to be really busy,” she said. “There seems to be a lot more interest from the casual UK viewer this year so I expect a lot more British people trying for tickets just because it’s in the UK.”
She added: “The contest being in the UK isn’t something I thought would happen in the far-off future, let alone this year, and Eurovision is genuinely one of my favourite events of the year, so being able to be there would be incredible.”
Prices range from £30 to £290 for the semi-final shows and from £80 to £380 for the grand final shows.
The final will take place on Saturday 13 May, beginning at 8pm. There will be two semi-finals beforehand – one on Tuesday 9 May and one on Thursday 11 May.
Tickets will only be available to purchase on Ticketmaster regardless of the country you are booking from.
You must have a Ticketmaster UK account to purchase tickets, and fans are encouraged to create their account in advance of Tuesday 7 March.