World famous pop star Ke$ha was denied the opportunity to play at her own concert in Malaysia on October the 26. Government Officials warned that Ke$ha’s show was cancelled but she still considering going through with it. Ke$ha and her crew were aware of the sensitivity in Malaysia and had previously agreed to make changes to her performance specifically for the Malaysia show.
Malaysia has a track record of turning down western musicians. Just last month U.S. heavy metal band Lamb of God had planned a concert in Malaysia that was cancelled. Islamic authorities proclaimed that the music was offensive religiously. Lamb of God and Ke$ha are not the only ones to experience this problem. Beyoncé has had two shows set for Malaysia that were cancelled and Erykah Badu also had a show cancel in Malaysia during 2012.
Malaysia is sensitive when it comes to censorship, shows such as South Park and Family Guy have been banned although Family Guy was unbanned in 2010 but suffers from heavy censorship still. In the past artists have been fined or warned about their actions or clothes. In 2004 the band Linkin Park was set to play in Malaysia and the band was told that they had to refrain from wearing shorts. It is surprising that some musicians have managed to successfully perform in Malaysia such as Avril Lavigne in 2008 and Adam Lambert in 2010.
Ke$ha openly sings about alcohol and rather provocative themes that would not be appropriate in Malaysia due to religious sensitivities, however changes had been made to the wardrobe and song lyrics to abide by the government’s general guidelines for performers.
Ke$ha was saddened by the cancellation of her performance. She tweeted about the matter saying, “To be clear. I did not cancel. I was not allowed to play.” Jason Kong, head of PR for Livescape spoke with Ke$ha about her wanting to performing despite what they were told. “We advised her against it because the authorities would shut down the show.”Kong stated that fans that bought tickets would receive refunds. Livescape said in a statement “We are distraught to confirm that the show will be cancelled.” Livescape, who helps put on such shows stated that it would lose more than $350,000 due to the ban.
Livescape issued more comments saying, “Livescape would like to go on record to state that we have always adhered to all guidelines set forth by Puspal,” Livescape also said, “For full disclosure, our application was submitted on Sept 10, 2013. The official letter rejecting our application was only sent to us at 11:24am Friday alongside two backdated letters rejecting our application dated Oct 1 and Oct 18.”
Hopefully Livescape can avoid such problems in the future and help fans enjoy the music that they wish to. Maybe Ke$ha will play in Malaysia at a different date when not being banned by government officials. It looks like this time the Warrior tour will have to continue onward without Malaysia.
Written By: Garrett Jutte