THE Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is to get a life-saving cash boost on condition that unsold concert tickets are given away.
The "no more empty seats" order follows an increase of £635,000 from Liverpool council, rising immediately from £165,000 to £800,000 a year.
Council chiefs who want to guarantee the long term future of the orchestra as Liverpool bids to be European Capital of Culture in 2008, are also eager to pre-empt any charges of elitism from opposition groups.
The Phil has been told to give tickets away, especially to the young, if they remain unsold the day before a concert.
The orchestra has also been asked to give two free concerts for Liverpool residents each season.