More than 200 conservative Muslims staged a demonstration in Indonesia’s capital on Wednesday, urging the cancellation of a Coldplay concert scheduled for the night due to the British band’s support for the LGBTQ+ community, reports the AP.
The protest, taking place approximately 1 kilometer away from the Jakarta concert venue, featured protesters carrying a banner that declared: “Reject, cancel, and disband Coldplay concerts,” branding the band as an LGBTQ+ “propagandist” accused of undermining “faith and morals.”
The protest group had previously organized demonstrations at various locations in Jakarta, including the British Embassy, reflecting a rising trend of a small extremist fringe becoming more vocal in Indonesia despite its secular and historically tolerant society.
Coldplay, known for integrating its values into performances, notably advocating for environmental sustainability, has faced opposition due to lead singer Chris Martin’s public embrace of LGBTQ+ symbols, including wearing rainbow colors and waving gay pride flags during shows.
The backdrop for these protests includes earlier concert cancellations in Southeast Asia linked to LGBTQ+-related issues.
In July, British pop rock band The 1975 canceled performances in Jakarta and Taipei after the Malaysian government cut short a music festival due to the lead singer’s criticism of the country’s anti-gay laws and a same-sex kiss on stage.
Similarly, Lady Gaga canceled a sold-out show in Indonesia in 2012 due to security concerns following threats of violence from Muslim hard-liners opposed to her “Born This Way Ball” concert.
The Asian segment of Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres World Tour” features the Jakarta concert at Gelora Bung Karno stadium, with over 70,000 tickets sold within two hours of sales opening in May.
Jakarta stands out as one of the band’s key streaming hubs, boasting 1.6 million fans in the city.