Jakarta rocks as stop on global concert circuit

Thu Jul 7, 2011 11:42pm EDT
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By Olivia Rondonuwu

JAKARTA (Reuters Life!) - Kylie Minogue cavorted amid indigo lights as thousands clapped and cheered. An ordinary concert scene -- except that this was Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic nations, and tickets cost more than an average month's pay for many.

Yet Minogue is far from alone in playing Jakarta, capital of Southeast Asia's top economy. Artists including Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars have all held concerts here in recent months, with the Cranberries, Linkin Park, and Lady Gaga set to come.

All are aiming at Indonesia's young population, the world's fourth-largest, with its rapidly-growing middle class that is able and eager to splash out for tickets.

"Indonesia is on the radar of artists in Asia because the market potential is huge and people don't mind spending more on tickets," said Jakarta-based music expert Bens Leo.

Farid Dermawan and 14 friends shelled out 1.5 million rupiah ($176) each for their tickets, about 15 percent higher than the capital's monthly minimum wage peg. Tickets ranged from 1 million to 4.5 million rupiah.

"The amount I paid is fine because I am a Kylie fan since I was born. I'm excited," said the 34-year-old Dermawan, a video clip director, as the silvery wings attached to the back of a black vest he made for the occasion flapped up.

About 90 percent of the tickets for Minogue's concert sold, said promoter EC Entertainment, which added that the ticket price range was "affordable."

Yet even steeper concerts do well. A recent concert by David Foster sold out, despite tickets ranging from 1 million rupiah up to 25 times that price.   Continued...