While Eurovision grows closer with each passing day, there have been some fantastic and exciting announcements made, and a great deal of hype building up to the show in Turin. However, it could be argued, the EBU has possibly made a few notable PR missteps this Eurovision year. Let us take a look at some of the top blunders of the EBU 2022 season so far.
Airlines and Travel
As fans eagerly awaited news on when tickets would become available for the highly anticipated 2022 contest, the EBU instead made several announcements regarding travel and airlines.
It’s time to take flight and I’m not talking Zero Gravity ala Kate Miller-Heidke. In early February it was announced that Vueling would be the official airline partner for Eurovision 2022, notably around the time a late announcement for ticket sales would usually be made. This partnership placed an emphasis on the great prices offered for travel however there are no discounted rates or pricing offered through the site, only a possible chance to end up on the specially branded airbus.
With an airline partner announced, there was hope that more information regarding the venue, events around the city and ticket sales would be coming soon, alas this was not to be.
Mid March came and went and yet there were still no signs of the elusive ticket sales, however the EBU announced that Booking.com would be their official travel partners. This announcement once again fell about as flat as a crepe, as there were no discounted pricing or offers made by using the site and still no word on when the coveted tickets would be available to purchase.
Travel and airline partners are wonderful to have available for contest goers, however why book anything when you do not have a guarantee that you will have access to the event? This lack of information was enough to make fans want to Scream(Thank you Sergey Lazerev).
Press Room Restrictions
As covered by our previous article regarding the Eurovision press center, access to the venue, artists and press room has been incredibly restricted this Eurovision year. Not only were the amount of accreditations severely limited despite a large increase in media coverage interest, the press schedule reveals that even the rehearsals will be restricted as the press room will be closed to press pass holders.
In fact, the first rehearsal of both semi finals and the Big 5 are closed to the press completely whilst the second rehearsal has closed the arena itself to press access. This largely restricts access to the artists at the venue for interviews and content for many of those covering this year’s contest. One could say this makes press pass holders only a Friend of a Friend.
With limited access to acts, smaller content creators that cover the contest are left with little to give audiences at large and left hoping to schedule even a brief appearance by contestants in an already jam packed schedule in unofficial locations.
As we enter the final countdown to the contest, the EBU has made several posts to drum up excitement around the first rehearsals as they took place. Notably however, instead of allowing press representatives to witness the contestants putting together their performances for the first time, the EBU has chosen to release their own internal coverage and images via their partnership with TikTok, making them our only source of information. Whilst the argument can be made that the coverage of rehearsals falls under the press room category, I believe that this strange approach to these crucial first run throughs deserves its own spotlight. This exclusivity to TikTok and the lack of information coming from the EBU about the rehearsals has created an atmosphere rife with rumor and speculation as eager fans and press alike wait for any information to tickle out from the event center in Turin.
It must also be noted that the press center where the artists would typically go to speak to the press after their initial rehearsals is hauntingly empty as they have opted for a virtual press experience.
Tickets Of Beauty
Voila! After months of anticipation and frustration, ticket sales were announced in early April, the latest tickets have gone on sale in recent history. Typically the contest has tickets readily available for purchase in December, a wonderful holiday present for any Eurovision fan, yet with very little information regarding why the EBU held back ticket sales this year, one could say that a mystery is a foot.
Not only were tickets made available for purchase incredibly late cutting it quite close in fact to the contest itself, the site experienced difficulties as eager fans, made like Conchita Wurst and rose like a phoenix to make sure they could secure their tickets. Many a fan were left disappointed as their Eurovision dreams were dashed by site crashes and the need to constantly refresh the page.
It must also be noted that those that were able to secure their ticket or tickets would be only able to resell their tickets, through only the approved website Fansale.it , if they are unable to attend the contest. There is also no information regarding ticket refunds for anyone unable to attend the show.
Tickets Of Beauty Part 2: The Angering
With all the shock and surprise of an M Night Shyamalan plot twist, it has been announced that a second wave of tickets will be made available for purchase to all shows. While some fans might Say Yay! and rejoice, many a fan are speechless as those that could not previously secure their tickets or were only able to purchase a limited few are left feeling betrayed as this announcement was made, after having been told that those shows were sold out and that they had missed their chance.
This announcement was enough to make some Eurovision fans snap and many took to Twitter to express their frustrations at having cancelled their plans due to not being able to previously purchase their tickets. The Twitter-sphere blew up with angered ecxlimations from the fans who had canceled their plans when they believed the show to be sold out and those that were disappointed that this last minute scramble would leave them with no accommodations. While some eager fans are celebrating the chance to try their hands again once more at securing their spots to attend the contest, it can be argued that many more are outraged and left wondering why a second release of ticket sales has been announced so close to the show.
With Europe’s biggest party right around the corner, it is easy to poke a little fun at the EBU for some of their more notable missteps this year. However in just a few short days we will all be celebrating and enjoying the contest that brings us all together.