Tickets for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest sold out in less than two hours.
The event takes place at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool from May 9-13, with the UK city staging the contest on behalf of Ukraine after organisers deemed the country unable to host the event due to the ongoing war with Russia.
Tickets for all nine shows including the live Grand Final went on sale at 12pm GMT today (March 7) and the final sold out within 36 minutes. The remaining shows filled up around an hour later.
Up to 6,000 were made available to purchase across nine shows but many people complained that “Error 503” messages kept coming up on screen, claiming their session had timed out, while others were met with claims they could be a bot.
All #Eurovision2023 shows including previews are now SOLD OUT.
Demand was super high but don’t forget we have 3 amazing TV shows planned for this year’s Contest & lots of Eurovision activities and parties around Liverpool during the event!
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 7, 2023
Organisers later said the demand was “super high” and that fans who didn’t manage to get tickets can still take part in the event. Liverpool is hosting a cultural festival and a Eurovision fan zone, which can hold 25,000 people at the city’s Pier Head.
A further 3,000 tickets are set to be made available for displaced Ukrainians living in the UK to mark Kalush Orchestra‘s victory at last year’s event.
The BBC recently announced its presenting and commentary line-up, including Graham Norton, Julia Sanina, Hannah Waddingham, Alesha Dixon, Timur Miroshnychenko, Sam Quek, Mel Giedroyc, Scott Mills, Rylan and Claire Sweeney.
The semi-finals on May 9-11 will be presented by Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, Waddingham and Dixon, with the Grand Final hosted by Eurovision stalwart Norton alongside Sanina, Waddingham and Dixon.
The artist who is currently the bookmakers’ favourite act to represent the UK at this year’s event is Lymington singer-songwriter Birdy.
Elsewhere, the stage design for the contest was recently revealed, designed to look like a wide hug enfolding the arena.
At the beginning of February, in preparation to host the contest, Liverpool City Council started looking for 500 “friendly” volunteers to help out.