Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the One Nation Concert will go ahead this weekend as planned.
The Prime Minister said the last time the concert was staged, the state paid $300,000.
A similar sum is expected to be spent this year.
Browne told critics of the event that “the One Nation Concert is a fixed item on our calendar of events.”
He added that it is “very very important to bring people together to socialize.”
“I made the point some time ago that man shall not live by work alone but by entertainment too,” the country’s leader told radio listeners.
The free concert has been strongly criticized as a misplaced priority for the nation.
Many point to the fact that the Festivals Commission cannot meet its current obligations to creditors.
However, Browne insists that the event is necessary to reward residents for their hard work in 2018.
“There are many individuals who would have worked hard throughout the year and contribute to economic growth and development. The least the government can do to say thank you to those individuals for their contribution to the 5.3 rate of growth, is to have some event in which the mass of people can participate.”
Performers are expected to come from abroad for Saturday’s event but the Prime Minister said he was disappointed that one week before the event, the Festivals Commission did not release the names of the performers.