Some 1,300 free tickets were given out for the Andre Rieu and Robbie Williams concerts that were held on the Granaries in Floriana this summer, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo has revealed. 

In reply to parliamentary questions by PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut, Bartolo revealed that 600 tickets for the Robbie Willaims concert on August 24 and 700 tickets to the Andre Rieu Concert on September 1 went to people who did not pay for them. 

Sammut last week asked Bartolo how many tickets for these concerts were handed out for free and through what criteria were used to choose the people they were given to. 

Initially, the Minister did not respond with figures but said only that requests for free tickets came from various sections of society and that these are distributed “appropriately and with the goal of increasing awareness of niches that strengthen the tourism industry”. 

In a reply to a follow-up question on the subject a day later, Bartolo said that this group of people includes “stakeholders in the tourism industry, influencers and the general public”. 

Events organisers have been vocal about the struggle of hosting entertainment events that have to compete with state-funded performances

Bartolo has rebuffed these comments, saying the state simply enables certain events and that he thinks this model is working well for the local industry.

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