More than a year ago, Angelos Dadalias, President of INFE Network (International Network of Fan clubs of Eurovision, to which AEV España belonged until last year), informed all INFE clubs that we were entitled for the first time to get tickets to the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon 2018. Several member countries also got their chance to buy two or more tickets directly from the organisers of this amazing event. It was time to add a new asset to the association, so we agreed to join the ticket purchase process.
Everything was ready: Angelos had the right contact with the EBU (Nadja Burkhardt, who eventually informed us that EBU never sells or books tickets directly to the fans but only to broadcasters or to OGAE), we had the members interested, we had the money, we paid for the tickets, the ticket download was supposedly going to be online… we just had to wait for the link to the tickets to be sent to our emails.
Well, that link never arrived. We only received excuses and delays… until the Eurovision week started, when our fans were already there. Therefore, we had to refund them the money so they could buy new tickets elsewhere, which made us lose all the money that we had paid to INFE months before. Anyway, Angelos said he was urged to get the tickets directly from a BlueTicket office in Lisbon the day before the 1st Semifinal. Although we agreed to wait until that moment, we had never given him any permission to withdraw the money (our members’ money) in cash, since all the transactions were going to be online… but Angelos went to Lisbon carrying all the money in cash. Why? Apparently, his bank only allowed him to make credit card payments up to a certain amount.
Unfortunately, just when one of our members was going to meet him to pay and collect the tickets from the BlueTicket office (which was closed at that moment), Angelos claims that he was assaulted and somebody stole all the money he was carrying in a bag (about €4,000, including our €920 for two tickets). There is a police report and an injury report from a local hospital that certify the events (no witnesses, though) so we cannot say anything about that at all.
Anyway, we started trying to recuperate our money, which Angelos was at all times willing to pay back… and every month he set a deadline. At some point, we even received a transfer slip of a payment that we never saw in our bank account, but he seems to have forgotten about that.
Month after month, the predicted payment date was always about to happen… but it never did. Today, exactly 18 months after our immediate transfer to his personal bank account in February 2018, Angelos has just failed to pay the amount he owes us, reason why we are informing everyone of the situation.
One day (after one of his endless deadlines to pay back), we posted several lines on social media, informing about the situation. As he saw them, he said he wouldn’t pay a penny unless we withdrew the posts, which we did. Now, after several missed deadlines, receiving no money from him and filing reports against him to the police (which prove to be useless in the European Union for this amount), the last resource we turn to is informing you, dear Eurofans, of this awful situation we are living as members of an association which pretends to be fun and enjoyable.
By writing this post, we assume Angelos is not going to pay a penny, as he warned. This is not bullying, as he claims, it is just informing all Eurofans that these situations happen and should never happen again. Bear in mind that under no circumstances are tickets to our favourite contest sold outside the official channels (ticket providers appointed by the national broadcaster in turn), so please just be careful.
We also take this chance to inform that, as opposed to what appears on the INFE Network website, Spain (AEV España) does not belong to INFE Network anymore, due to this incident. Instead, we joined the Eurofans Network, in which we will try to broaden our horizons as a Eurofan club starting from the next contest in The Netherlands, enjoying every single euro-moment as much as possible.
Thank you for reading up to this point.