Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - In another world, US pop star Lady Gaga would have been at Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday evening, performing her signature songs such as "Bad Romance" and "Born This Way" before tens of thousands of her loyal fans, known as "Little Monsters".
In reality, Gaga's trip to Indonesia ended before it began, as her gig in the capital, part of her 2012 "Born This Way Ball" world tour, was canceled by her tour management in the face of pressure from the country's hard-line groups.
The New York-born singer, who held three days of concerts in Singapore without any censorship last week, made clear on Saturday via her official Twitter account, @ladygaga, that she regretted the cancellation.
When one of her followers pointed out that Gaga would have been in Indonesia over the weekend if her Jakarta show had gone ahead as planned, the singer replied, "I know. It is all I can think about."
In Jakarta, her fans reminded the government that the bitter end of weeks of controversy over the gig was a huge loss not only for Gaga fans but also for every citizen who believed in freedom.
"The cancellation was not merely an attack on our idol, but also on the values that she promotes through her music such as equality, humanism, diversity and compassion," said Fia Rahmatia, 20, founder of Gaga Twitter fan-base @IndoProGaga.
The Twitter account had a total of 6,927 followers as of Sunday. "We decided to channel our rage in an artistic way," Fia, a student of Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, added.
Fia, along with around 50 Gaga fans from Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali and Bandung, gathered in front of the stadium where Gaga was to have performed on Sunday, bringing floral wreaths mourning "the death of freedom of expression" in Indonesia.
The fans also performed a flash-mob dance as a tribute to the 26-year-old singer. They also stamped their handprints with colorful paint on a large poster of Gaga, which stated "Little Monsters' tribute to diversity".
Separately, a dozen or so fans of Gaga, wearing black outfits, staged a rally in the form of a dance in front of the Presidential Palace, demanding that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono guarantee citizens' rights to freedom of expression.
One of them, 18-year-old Agnes, said many "Monsters" were reluctant to show up at the State Palace out of fear that "groups like the Islam Defenders Front [FPI]" would chase them away.
Their fears were unfounded as around 3,000 members of the FPI prayed together at their headquarters on Jl. Petamburan III, Central Jakarta, to celebrate the concert cancellation. "This is our way to thank Allah," FPI spokesman Munarman said.
Along with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), United Development Party and the Islamic People's Forum, the FPI was foremost among the groups condemning Gaga, who it accused of "indulging in pornography" and "promoting satanic values" in her acts.