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17 Mar, 2009 15:25

First Eurovision tickets are sold out – so beware of fakes!

The first set of tickets for Eurovision 2009 sold out on the day sales were launched, Russia’s Channel One TV reports.

But who’s bought six thousand tickets for the final and half of those for the semi-finals in just three hours?

Massive queues began forming on Sunday night outside the ticket offices of the Olympiisky Arena in Moscow, despite the fact that nothing would be sold until the morning. By 11.30am on Monday, more than 500 people were waiting in line. The cheapest tickets were sold out by midday.

Soon after, movement in the queues stopped. Because of the organisers’ policy to sell no more than 8 tickets per person, touts blocked the entrance to try and make quick deals with those in line to buy their tickets from them. Upset people in the crowd had to call the police to get them cleared away.

The situation proved concerns that limiting the number of tickets sold to one person would fail to stop the touts.

The release date for when the next batch of tickets goes on sale is being kept under wraps – and organisers are afraid of the touts resurfacing.

Many of those planning to attend the Eurovision concerts will have not yet even thought of buying their tickets. Most of them will think of that in May. But by then, no one can guarantee that any tickets will be left available from official distributors.

In order to avoid fakes, tickets are being extra-protected. Their authenticity will be checked by special electronic reading devices at the entrance. Organisers are advising people not to buy tickets privately and to be careful of counterfeits.