Ruth Chai – Anti-LGBT protesters in Jakarta gathered outside Coldplay's first-ever concert in Indonesia on Wednesday (Nov. 15), where they jeered at concertgoers and clashed with the police, AFP reported.
The groups had called for Coldplay's only concert in Indonesia this year to be cancelled over disagreements with the band's views and support for the LGBT community.
The band's frontman, Chris Martin, has previously worn rainbow colours and waved pride flags during performances. The group is also known for weaving advocacy into their shows.
Coldplay's concert in Indonesia was part of their "Music of the Spheres" world tour and was held at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta.
More than 70,000 tickets were sold, and the concert tickets were sold out within hours after going on sale.
Clashes with protestors
Before the concert, however, at least 300 protesters gathered to chant and hold banners opposing the show, AFP further reported.
The majority of the protestors were members of a group that described itself as the "anti-LGBT movement". When confronted by the police, they started clashing with officers.
They also continued to boo concertgoers arriving at the stadium, and carried banners accusing the band of spreading "LGBT propaganda", which supposedly damaged the country's "faith and morals".
According to a spokesperson for the Jakarta police, Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko, the police deployed nearly 4,000 officers to maintain order at the concert.
He also said that the protesters did not have a permit to stage a rally.
Protests were reportedly already being held on Friday (Nov. 10), Tempo.co reported. A number of them had gathered outside the British Embassy in Jakarta.
One of the protest coordinators, Muhyiddin Junaidi, was quoted as saying, "We are not rejecting Coldplay as a musician, but an indiscernible part of the international [LGBTQ+] propaganda."
The decision to hold the concert in the first place was also criticised by Anwar Abbas, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, Indonesia's most powerful Islamic regulatory body, AFP reported.
He has previously publicly called for the show to be cancelled, citing that the band has "no place in [Indonesia] to perform and hold a concert".
On Nov. 15, Indonesia's Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the band would still perform as planned, the Jakarta Post reported.
In response to the protest held on Nov. 10, he said, "As of today, the show must go on." Sandiaga added that the government would cooperate with the police to ensure the concert is smooth, safe and enjoyable.