The block of empty seats seen on television during the Eurovision Song Contest semi final last night were tickets given to the competition sponsors. The tickets were part of a package given to the competition's main sponsors and will, we are assured, be filled during the final.
Every year, the main sponsors of the competition receive a number of tickets for the many douzens of people that work to produce and support the Eurovision Song Contest. Many of them work abroad and will only be in attendance for the weekend, therefore missing the semi final.
esctoday.com spoke to the Event Manager of the Eurovision Song Contest, Kjell Eckholm, who admitted freely that it looked bad and that he was personally disappointed, but there was nothing that could have been done because the tickets were not in the posession or control of either YLE or the EBU.