Lady Gaga Cancels Indonesian Concert After Security Threats
While the "Born This Way Ball" sold out of its 52,000 tickets for its scheduled June 3 concert in Indonesia, Lady Gaga has decided to cancel the performance amid security concerns. Promoters will now issue refunds.
Police officials in the area had originally announced they were worried about potential violence after Islamic extremists threatened violence if the American pop superstar tried to perform in the Muslim-majority country of 240 million in Southeast Asia.
The police originally said they didn't approve of Lady Gaga's message or outfits. However, they seemed to be softening their stance on the pop star this past week, with fans of Lady Gaga believing the police would provide the appropriate security permits and crowd control if the pop star agreed to tone down her risque performance. But ultimately, the pop star and her team decided the risks weren't worth it.
"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 Sunday. "This is not only about Lady Gaga's security, but extends to those who will be willing to watch her."
Lady Gaga is not the first American popstar with suggestive lyrics and costumes to be threatened in the Southeast Asian nation: Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue have all been the target of Islamic extremist protests. However, this may be the first major victory for the extremists in the nation. Some groups, including the Islamic Defenders Front, protest regularly against what they see as negative Western influences in Indonesia and in support of new local laws and regulations restricting gambling, alcohol, pornography, and other activities.
"This is a victory for Indonesian Muslims," Salim Alatas, one of the leaders of the hard-line group, said, according to the Associated Press. "Thanks to God for protecting us from a kind of devil."
For her part, Lady Gaga responded with a message on Twitter for her nearly 29 million followers: "There is nothing Holy about hatred." She continued: "I am so very sorry for the fans & just as devastated as you if not more. You are everything to me. ...I will try to put together something special for you. My love for Indonesia has only grown. #GagaSendsLoveToJakarta and all its people."