Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Moral campaign halts Gaga concert

Singer Lady Gaga receives the award for Best Female from actor David Hasselhoff onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2011 live show at at the Odyssey Arena on November 6
Lady Gaga has had to cancel a sold-out Indonesian show after a moral campaign against her (AP)
Lady Gaga performs during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2011 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

Lady Gaga will have to cancel a sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative MPs, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves would corrupt the youth.

A police spokesman said that the permit for her June 3 "Born This Way Ball" concert had been denied.

Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

Hard-liners have loudly criticised Lady Gaga, saying the suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's moral fibre. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her from stepping off the plane. MPs and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.

Worried they could not guarantee security, local police recommended the permit for the show be denied.

It was supposed to be the biggest show on Lady Gaga's Asian tour, with fans snapping up every seat in Jakarta's 52,000-seat Gelora Bung Karno stadium - half of them in the first two hours of sales.

Permits usually are issued about three weeks before a concert in Jakarta, so it is common to sell tickets well ahead of receiving the permit. It was not immediately clear if the ticket sales would be refunded.

"I'm very disappointed," said Mariska Renata, who had tickets to the Jakarta show.

She said by bowing to the wishes of "troublemakers," authorities only give them more power. "We are mature enough to be able to separate our own moral values from arts and culture," she said.

Lady Gaga's Asian tour started late last month and many of the stops have sold out. The South Korean concerts were limited to fans 18 or older because conservatives there raised objections.

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