The EBU has announced that FYR Macedonia will, contrary to previous announcements, compete at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. They also announced that tickets for next year’s contest will go on sale on 30th November.
At 10:00am CET, the eurovision.tv took to social media to announce a pair of announcements. Firstly, they confirmed that FYR Macedonia will in fact compete at the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal. This brings the total number of participants for next year’s contest up to 43, a joint-record number of participants shared only with the 2008 and 2011 contests.
FYR Macedonia’s participation announcement comes 10 days after the EBU released the list of the then-42 participating countries for Eurovision 2018, from which the country was excluded. This exclusion was presumed to be a result of the sanctions imposed on MRT, the Macedonian national broadcaster, due to the country’s unresolved debts to the EBU. The EBU later announced that talks were ongoing with MRT, along with the Portuguese broadcaster RTP, to reach a conclusion to the issue. It would now seem that these talks were successful, allowing FYR Macedonia to participate at the contest in Lisbon.
Speaking of FYR Macedonia’s participation at the 2018 contest, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, commented that:
The EBU and MRT have worked quickly to find a resolution on this matter together, which ensures that MRT are able to join us in the Eurovision Song Contest once again, and we are pleased to announce that this has now been possible. This means we will have a record-equalling number of countries participating in Lisbon, and we are very confident that those are successful in purchasing tickets will enjoy their Eurovision experience next year.
Also announced by the EBU this morning was the date of the first wave of ticket sales for the 2018 contest. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday 30th November at 11:00am CET, and will be available through next year’s official ticket partner, BlueTicket.pt. Tickets will range in price from €35 to €299, and will be for the grand final and its rehearsals only.
More tickets, including tickets for the semi-finals, will be released in January following the semi-final allocation draw, which will take place on Monday 29th January 2018.
On the imminent ticket sales, Carla Bugalho, Deputy Executive Producer of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, said:
RTP is very pleased to announce the beginning of the ticket sale for the first Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Portugal. We will have 3 outstanding and distinctive shows and everyone that doesn’t get their tickets now, will have other opportunities very soon.
The 63rd Eurovision Song Contest will official begin with the first semi-final on 8th May 2018, with the second semi-final to take place on 10th May and the grand final on 12th May.