In a recent demonstration, approximately a hundred conservative Muslims took to the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia, protesting the scheduled concert of British rock band Coldplay on November 15 at Gelora Bung Karno stadium. The protest stems from the band’s vocal support for the LGBTQ+ community, with lead singer Chris Martin notably wearing rainbow colors and waving gay pride flags during performances.
Concert Sparks Controversy Among Conservative Groups
The protest was organized by the Islamist group 212 Brotherhood Alumni, known for its previous demonstrations against Christian politician Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in 2016. The demonstrators, chanting slogans such as “God is Great” and “We reject Coldplay,” marched to the British Embassy in Jakarta, expressing their opposition to the concert. Hery Susanto, a protester from Bandung, articulated the group’s stance, emphasizing their intent to “guard the young generation” from what they perceive as corrupting influences.
Coldplay’s Popularity and the Opposition’s Stance
Despite the protests, Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres World Tour” has been immensely successful across Asia, with tickets for the Jakarta concert selling out rapidly. Jakarta stands as one of Coldplay’s top streaming hubs, with a significant fan base. However, Novel Bamukmin, a protest coordinator, criticized the government’s decision to allow the concert, citing Coldplay’s support for LGBTQ rights and Chris Martin’s atheism. Bamukmin warned of larger protests, potentially confronting the band upon their arrival in Indonesia.
Previous Incidents and Security Concerns
This is not the first time international artists supporting LGBTQ rights have faced opposition in Indonesia. In 2012, Lady Gaga canceled her Jakarta concert over security concerns following threats of violence from Muslim hard-liners. This history of tensions and security challenges highlights the cultural and religious dynamics in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, and its impact on international cultural events.
The situation surrounding Coldplay’s concert in Jakarta reflects the broader global discourse on LGBTQ rights and religious conservatism. It underscores the challenges and sensitivities involved in balancing cultural expression, artistic freedom, and diverse societal norms in a globalized world.