Dozens of Cubans made long lines from dawn this Saturday to buy tickets for the concert by singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés, after the government changed the venue of the event to the Sports City, with a capacity of 15,000 people.
Images published by independent media and social network profiles show more than a hundred people lined up to buy tickets for the event, scheduled for June 21 at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum in Havana, where it was transferred by the criticism of the small number of tickets sold to the public on the initial stage of the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theater.
On Friday, the Cuban Institute of Music moved the concert to the Sports City Coliseum, after an intense controversy over the restriction on the sale of tickets to the public. Ticket sales were resumed this Saturday at the National Theater box office.
The concert is part of the “Días de Luz” international tour, which has taken the famous singer-songwriter to stages in the United States, Spain, and other countries around the world.
Cubans interested in the event protested in Havana recently because, after queuing since dawn to purchase tickets at the National Theater in Havana, they found that the institution allocated a limited number of seats to the public.
The Avellaneda room of the National Theater of Cuba has a capacity for around 2,500 people, of which only 300 tickets were sold to the population, which generated intense controversy.
In a video shared on social networks by the independent journalist José Raúl Gallego, it can be seen how a considerable number of people protested in front of a theater official who clarified to the indignant crowd that “only part of the tickets were destined for the public and the rest will be distributed by organizations”.
When the limitation became known, the Cubans asked Milanés to sing to the people on June 21, and not to those privileged by the ruling party’s decisions. These pressures could have influenced the change of venue for one with greater capacity. The Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum has a capacity of 15,000 spectators.
Cuban troubadour Carlos Varela shared a message dedicated to Pablo Milanés on Friday on his social networks, a few days before his concert in Havana.
Varela reproduced a fragment of the song “I will step on the streets again”, which Milanés composed in 1976 to express his rejection of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“The books will return, the songs / that the murderous hands burned. / My town will be reborn from its ruin / and the traitors will pay their guilt, ”Varela wrote on his social networks while sharing a photo of both.
Milanés, 79, returns to Havana after several months touring Spain and will be reunited with his family for the first time since the death of his daughter Suylén Milanés last January.