Mon, May 28, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Gaga cancels Jakarta gig after protests

SOMBER FACE:The pop icon’s promoters disappointed thousands of Indonesian fans by cancelling her concert due to security concerns prompted by Islamic protests

AFP, JAKARTA

Lady Gaga poses during the Bambi awards ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Nov.10 last year.

Photo: AFP

Pop diva Lady Gaga’s show in Indonesia was canceled yesterday, with the promoters saying the security threat was too serious after Islamic hardliners threatened “chaos” if she entered the Muslim nation.

“Lady Gaga’s management has considered the situation minute to minute, and with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga’s side is calling off the concert,” Minola Sebayang, lawyer for promoters Big Daddy, told reporters.

“This is not only about Lady Gaga’s security, but extends to those who will be watching her,” he added.

Earlier this month, police in Jakarta refused approval for the show after the hardline Islamic Defenders Front threatened violence if Lady Gaga performed, calling her a “devil’s messenger” who wears only a “bra and panties” on stage.

The promoters had indicated that a deal was being hammered out to tone down the star’s stage act, but her own management vowed no compromise to appease religious conservatives or censors.

Big Daddy president-director Michael Rusli said it was “unfortunate” that the show, scheduled for June 3 in Jakarta, had to be called off.

“For the past few days we have communicated with the government and Lady Gaga’s side. The government has given support, but this is not about the permit,” he said.

“The cancellation is really due to concerns over security,” the promoter said.

More than 50,000 tickets had already been sold for the event, part of the singer’s “Born This Way Ball” tour, and Rusli said Big Daddy had been unable to find an alternative venue.

“This is a huge concert so it can’t be moved elsewhere. Nowhere else in Indonesia can accommodate that many people,” he said.

He insisted that the 26-year-old US singer was “prepared to adapt to Asian culture.”

However, the star’s manager Troy Carter said in Singapore on Thursday that Lady Gaga, who has already faced protests from Christian groups at her shows in the Philippines and South Korea, would not tone down any of her concerts.

Ninety percent of Indonesia’s 240 million people identify themselves as Muslim, making it the world’s largest Islamic-majority nation.

In the past, pop stars including Beyonce and the Pussycat Dolls have been allowed to perform in the country on condition they wore more conservative clothing than usual.

Lady Gaga is scheduled to play three shows in Singapore this week. She was due to play in Jakarta after that, before flying to New Zealand and Australia, and then to Europe.

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