Cape Town has no idea that Lady Gaga concert is happening after newspaper blackout

Capetonians were left utterly bemused as to what on earth is going on at the Cape Town Stadium this evening after local newspapers chose to boycott coverage of… well… whatever is happening at the Cape Town Stadium this evening.

MAJOR Cape newspapers have supported a call to withdraw coverage of the Lady Gaga concert at Cape Town Stadium today.
Gaga’s management team confirmed to the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) that no news photographers would be allowed to cover the event.

Ah there it is. A Lady Gaga concert.

And, true to their word, looking at today’s Cape Times, you’d be hard pressed to work out that there was any sort of Lady Gaga concert happening tonight if it wasn’t for the page three piece telling you about them not telling you about the Lady Gaga concert happening tonight. Well, that and the City of Cape Town ad for the transport arrangements on page five, but money is money and media freedom ethics go out of the window when you’ve got the offer of cold hard cash, right?


Sanef said last week this attempt to control coverage was “unprecedented”. News photographers were usually allowed to at least take shots of the first three songs.

Adjective: Never done or known before.
Synonyms: unexampled – unparalleled – unheard-of

Yes, of course it’s absolutely unprecedented. Except for the international precedent set by the rest of the Lady Gaga tour, which has sparked outrage… er… nowhere. Oh, and the other local precedent set by U2 last year (a concert much covered and adulated by the local press):

Publicists for Big Concerts, Pamberi Communications, said yesterday the ban extended to all countries involved in Lady Gaga’s global tour.
The city’s Tourism, Events and Marketing director, Anton Groeneweld, said this was not the first time a ban on news photography had been imposed: “It was the same request at the U2 concert last year. The artists have a right to accredit the photographers they want.”

How very dare they choose the photographers that they want to accredit? Next they’ll be charging people to go into the stadium to see the artists. And what comes after that? Where do we draw the line?

Ridicule aside though, much like the claims that the concerts should be cancelled “because she is a Satanist“, I think we can all see that  this boycott will hit Lady Gaga hard. I find it unlikely that we will hear anything at all about the concert now that Die Burger isn’t reporting on it. I can’t see her selling any more tickets for gigs in South Africa this year simply for the reason that the Weekend Argus isn’t going to tell us if she was any good. I, for one, don’t go out buying tickets for concerts that the Daily Voice haven’t specifically (and positively) vetted.

I hope that other artists coming to Cape Town in the near future will take note of this very mature attitude from our local press. Because yes, their dad is bigger than your dad and it’s their ball and they’re taking it home and you can’t play any more and you smell.
So don’t you come over here with your international rules and norms and expect us to simply comply without a belated press boycott of your concert so only the 58,000 concert goers, that strange Afrikaans lady and everyone else will know that it’s happening.

That’ll teach you.