This reminds me of an ugly situation that broke up a group of friends about 20 years ago.
We all (8 of us or so) attended a weekly event, and would meet early to line up for it to get good seats. We were there every week and eventually the people who ran the event noticed it. At the end of the year, they came up to our group and told us "We'd like you to have these free yearly passes" and handed one to me and one to my SIL. They were obviously talking to us as a group of people.
My SIL insisted that they meant for HER ALONE to have the pass, and refused to share it.
I said that we should take turns using the remaining pass, but that I would keep it and bring it weekly instead of passing it around from person to person. That worked for a few weeks until someone argued that the pass should be passed on each week, I had a pretty rusty spine at the time, and of course within a few weeks it was lost.
The sore feelings resulted in the group ceasing to meet and attend the event.
Ooh, that's tough, though. I can see how the event organizers might not be able to afford free yearly passes for 8 people, or even recognize who was in the core group and "ought" to have the passes if it was more like "8 or so" people. But giving two passes when they knew the group was larger than that... Ouch. I think they could have thought that through better, and maybe given out two dozen "one time free pass" tickets instead, or something like that. On the other hand, some groups would have been better at sharing the passes, I'm sure.
I actually get uncomfortable with freebies because of issues like this. I feel like I've had situations where, say, the restaurant owner announces to the whole table that *I* am getting my meal free because I eat there so often... and everyone else has to pay for their meals per usual. I know the owner meant to be nice, but I feel really put on the spot, and sometimes the other people in my group act like I ought to pay for part of their meals or "get" them a freebie as well. (I can't remember a specific instance, but I feel like this has happened to me... maybe I repressed the details.
) Usually when I start to feel like people at a restaurant/store "know me" I start going someplace else, just in case...