Gaga Refunds

The Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation has told the promoter for Lady Gaga’s canceled Jakarta concert to give refunds for the show, which was canceled when police refused to issue the necessary permit amid outcry from religious groups opposed to all things Gaga.

Promoter Big Daddy had sold more than 50,000 tickets for the June 3 concert at Bung Karno Stadium.
“The first thing concert promoters should do is refund all concert tickets immediately, without any cuts,” a representative of the foundation told the Jakarta Post.

He also recommended the promoter refund any related charges, such as hotel cancellation fees for people coming from afar to attend the concert.

About 12,000 were bought by foreigners from places like Australia and the Philippines.

“Big Daddy Entertainment should have arranged and planned for cultural complications such as those that are arising here,” the representative added. “They should have foreseen that there were going to be consequences or cultural backlash from people who didn’t like Lady Gaga. Doing so is standard business procedure.”

As far as the promoter losing money, “that’s their fault,” he said.

Big Daddy has said it will comply with the refund request, though even at the 11th hour the company was hoping the show would go on.

Company spokesman Arif, who like most Indonesians goes by one name, said that Lady Gaga’s management was cooperating and would “respect the culture of Indonesia.”

The singer herself even tweeted that if the show were allowed to proceed she’d be willing to perform “alone.” Hard-line groups have pledged to “intercept” the singer should she step foot in the country with the intention of performing.

Muslims weren’t the only ones offended by Lady Gaga. Christian groups in the Philippines have also protested her concerts in that country.

Before and after her arrival on May 19, about 200 young Christians marched through Manila holding signs that urged the singer to “respect our faith, stop the blasphemy.” One group called Biblemode Youth Philippines held a vigil near the concert venue the following day, and said they were “offended” by Lady Gaga’s music, in particular the song “Judas,” which they claim “mocks Jesus Christ.”

In addition Archbishop Ramon Arguelles warned fans that they were in danger of “falling into the clutches of Satan.”

The authorities approved the sold-out concerts May 21-22 on the condition that there would be no nudity or lewd behavior on stage. Censors reportedly monitored the first show before giving the go-ahead for a second.

Under Philippine law, anyone who causes racial or religious offense can be sentenced to six years in prison, though no one has been convicted of such crimes in many years.

Though she had commented on Twitter about the controversies, Lady Gaga used the second Manila concert as a platform to speak at length about her recent troubles and, according to reports, became quite emotional.

After mentioning that the protests didn’t bother her, she reaffirmed her sympathy for “all those kids all over the world that take their lives when they’re so young because they feel bullied … because they’re gay and don’t want to tell anybody.”

She went on to admit that “everybody, well, not everybody, but some people think I stand for really inappropriate things. Listen, I am slightly irresponsible, let’s be honest, OK?”

But in the end she stood by the core message: “I hope that you feel tonight as free as your hair. And to those of you that don’t feel free, take the best opportunity to free yourselves.”

There were no protests or problems with Lady Gaga’s two previous stops in Tokyo and Taipei.