During their time together, the two discussed the experience fans should expect once on the ground, the nature of safety in Kyiv, including that of financial issues already suffered by some with ATM and card skimming, and hotel availability.
At the time of the interview, there was no public availability of the much promised hotel rooms held for sale, but these are now released online at eurovision.pilot.ua/en/eurovision_guests The site was launched with little to no fanfare through eurovision.tv, and indicates that it closes for sale on 15th March, giving fans little time to secure the availability. It is expected that after the date, hotels will then be free to open up bookings online once again at whatever prices they wish to set.
For those attending, the most eagerly awaited news is that of accreditation and party arrangements for fans. The details however remain hazy. Anton Tarenenko indicates that the chosen Euroclub venue – Parkovy – holds up to 5000 people with room enough to host fans on accreditations similar to those organised by Stockholm 2016. However, rumblings from the EBU and official organisers indicate far smaller numbers and no clear location for the general fans to assemble at. The tourism minister also mentions a Eurovillage venue, and a ‘Eurovision Embassy’; which appears to be a daytime destination for fan gatherings, similar to that of the OGAE-fanclub-organised Eurocafe. An official announcement is promised for later this week following the HOD meeting on all these elements.
Sharleen also discusses whether there will be large disruptions to travel plans, given that the Zhuliany (IEV) airport will be closing for runway repairs the day following the grand final as a promised 20,000 fans try to make their way home. The larger airport, Boryspil, will be handling the additional traffic, however it is highly recommended to fans to check with their individual airline about any possible time changes and also re-confirmation of flights.
For Australian fans, the conversation becomes more serious as there have been rumours swirling around the visa arrangements for the contest. Rather than clear this up, according to the national tourism minister, there have been last minute talks regarding visa-waiving arrangements. Given the late nature of changes and lack of official communication, both the Australian Embassy in Kyiv and the Ukrainian Embassy in Canberra are still highly recommending all Australian passport holders to secure their visas prior to arrival.
One thing is for certain at this time, the arrangements in Kyiv seem as uncertain as they were when first proposed months ago.