Moving Ed Sheeran's Concert From GBK To JIS Means Risking Public Trust
Pamflet (flyer) at Ed Sheeran's concert which will be held at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) on March 2, 2024. (Instagram/@pkentertainment)

JAKARTA The transfer of Ed Sheeran's concert location in Jakarta caused a polemic. PK Entertainment as the promoter, moved the venue from its initial plan at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium to the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) right D-14 before the concert was held.

"The concert location for Ed Sheeran: + - = urus x Tour 2024 in Jakarta, which is scheduled for March 2, 2024, will move from the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (GBK) to the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS)," said the statement presented by PK Entertainment on February 16.

The promoter added that this decision was taken after going through careful consideration from all parties involved, with top priority to support the Indonesian vs Vietnam National Team football match which is scheduled to take place on March 21, 2024 at GBK.

Many spectators protested the promoter's decision to move the concert venue from GBK to JIS. The reasons vary, ranging from inadequate public transportation access to experience in previous concerts that were not pleasant. Moreover, the promoter did not provide a refund option or ticket refund after the announcement.

PK Entertainment first announced that British musician Ed Sheeran will have a concert in Jakarta on March 2, 2024 after their success in selling Coldplay tikers or to be precise on October 20, 2023.

However, two weeks before the concert, the promoter suddenly announced that the venue had been moved to JIS. This invites a strong reaction from those who have purchased tickets.

"If you do move to JIS I chose to refund myself, because I bought it with a location deal at Istora GBK, not JIS," wrote the account @squais_veronica.

In his statement, the promoter said that the location was moved because GBK would prepare to hold an Indonesian football match against Vietnam. President Director of GBK Rakhmadi A Kusumo also spoke up regarding this polemic.

"The GBK Main Stadium will be the location of the match between the Indonesian National Team and Vietnam in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualification," said Rakhmadi in a written statement, Friday (16/2/2024).

"We need to make special preparations to keep the venue in prime condition," he continued.

The mention of GBK for football concerts and matches did not only happen this time. In 2015, One Direction's concert in Jakarta sparked controversy. The boy from England held his first concert in Jakarta on March 25, 2015.

This time was only two days before the U-23 Asian Cup Qualification Group H on March 27 to March 31. As a result, the national team had to play at the Manahan Stadium, Solo.

The national team also returned to being 'expelled' after a two-day Blackpink concert at GBK on March 11 and 12. Although it was quite successful, the concert of the female vocal group from South Korea left a disappointment due to the damaged and alarming condition of GBK grass.

Karea itu, timnas Indonesia harus mengungsi ke Stadion Patriot Candrabhaga, Bekasi pada laga kontra Burundi pada 25 dan 28 Maret 2023.

In the same year, Coldplay's concert on November 17, 2023 also made the U-17 Indonesian national team unable to use GBK as the U-17 World Cup venue. Finally, JIS in North Jakarta became one of four stadiums used as venues, along with Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (East Java), Si Jalak Harupat Stadium (West Java), and Manahan Stadium (Central Java) at the U-17 World Cup which was held from November 10 to December 2.

The transfer of Ed Sheeran's concert venue will inevitably reduce the level of consumer confidence in the organizers, PK Entertainment. Public Policy Observer Trubus Rahadiansyah said this decision was clearly detrimental to consumers. Not only that, according to Trubus, the organizers cannot remain silent in order to restore the public trust.

"This is a deliberate attempt to harm consumers. Even though at the beginning of the promo at GBK, the committee itself was inconsistent," Trubus told VOI.

"Promotors should do some things as a form of compensation and responsibility to the public, to the public, even to Ed Sheeran himself. For example, by providing discounts or providing adequate parking bags," he added.

Prior to this, JIS held a grand concert for the band Dewa 19 on February 4, 2023. After the concert, there was chaos, such as the difficulty of the audience getting limited public transportation and parking spaces, causing criticism from the audience.

Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Music Promoters (APMI) Dino Hamid said the chaos of access came out after the dispersal of the Dewa 19 band akbar concert at JIS, one of which was also influenced by the habit of spectators in Indonesia.

"Because our people are still used to vehicles, abroad people are used to walking five or even seven kilometers to reach the venue of a festival," said Dino, quoting Antara.

The concert, titled the 30 Years of People's Party Work Dewa 19, was watched by around 70 thousand people at JIS. However, there was traffic chaos after the dispersal of the concert.

The protest receipts and audience complaints were busy on social media X, with only one exit access, the audience was trapped in the concert area in a matter of hours due to motorbikes, cars, shuttle buses, and pedestrians colliding into one on a narrow road.

GBK is often a fight between concert organizers and football matches. Now the problem is not who deserves to use GBK, but this is a matter of public trust in the organizers who unilaterally move the concert venue.

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