A few weeks ago we heard that Lady Gaga was facing protesters in Seoul at her Born This Way Ball tour. A rally flared up outside the South Korean capitol’s Olympic Stadium ahead of the performance and activists protested that Lady Gaga’s music and performances are “obscene” and “tainting” young people. The Seoul concert went ahead though attracting record numbers despite the religious opposition. Today though we have learned that Lady Gaga has canceled her concert in Jakarta, Indonesia after security threats and more protests.
The concert, scheduled for June 3rd at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, had sold out its 52,000 tickets, though it has been a question for some time whether Lady Gaga would receive the required permits for the event to go on. Now a group called the Islamic Defenders Front, calling the singer “a messenger of the devil,” has claimed that its supporters had bought tickets to the show and planned to stop the performance from within the venue. They also said that thousands of protesters would confront Lady Gaga at the airport if she entered the country. Officials said they would issue permits only if the singer toned down the controversial elements of the Born This Way Ball. Lady Gaga and her promoters declined to change the act.
“With threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga’s side is calling off the concert,” Minola Sebayang, a lawyer for concert promoter Big Daddy, told the Associated Press. “This is not only about Lady Gaga’s security, but extends to those who will be watching her.”
A lot of Pink readers have had mixed reactions to Lady Gaga’s protesters, as to be expected. While some people seemed to think that censorship is wrong under all circumstances, and this is a form of extremism, some other readers believed that Gaga is somewhat “obscene” and not appropriate for kids. Without getting into this argument, I do believe that it is a shame that the concert had to be canceled and 50,000 fans were disappointed, but I also think that the concert organizers made the right decision to put everyone’s safety first. This wasn’t about censorship or freedom of expression, it was about security and safety. In my opinion, it’s a no brainer, the show could not go on. What do you think about their decision to cancel the show in Indonesia?