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Free entertainment event tickets for unpaid US federal workers

Organisations across the United States are offering free event tickets to furloughed government workers, in a show of solidarity with employees who have not received paychecks since the beginning of the government shutdown in December.

Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay as a result of the shutdown which began on 22 December, making it officially the longest in US history.

In response, live music venues, cinemas, sports teams and museums across the country have offered tickets to events free of charge.

Exhibition basketball team Harlem Globetrotters are offering complimentary tickets to any government employee currently on furlough. The offer includes any ticket to the team’s 2019 Fan Powered North American tour and will remain valid for as long as the shutdown continues.

“As the Ambassadors of Goodwill, we want to show our support to all those government workers whose paychecks, and by extension their families, are directly impacted,” said Globetrotter president Howard Smith.

“We want to offer our friends the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide”

Symphonies around the country are similarly doing their bit to help the workers. The Spokane Symphony Orchestra in Washington is among those offering free tickets to shows.

“We are sorry for the hardships our federal workers have had to endure during the shutdown. We want to offer our friends some wonderful music and entertainment to give them the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide,” announced symphony executive director Jeff vom Saal.

Orchestras in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Boston have also made tickets available.

A disagreement in Congress initiated the shutdown after president Donald Trump refused to approve the federal budget unless it included US$5.7 billion towards the building of the Mexican border wall. Democrats rejected the request, placing the government in deadlock.

US rapper Cardi B spoke out against the shutdown in an Instagram video posted yesterday. The video, in which the rapper refers to the country as a “hellhole”, has so far received over 12.5 million views.


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