MALAYSIA (CelebrityAccess) – The final two days of Malaysia’s Good Vibes festival were canceled after the 1975’s lead singer, Matt Healy, kissed bandmate Ross MacDonald onstage Friday (July 21), openly disregarding the country’s outright ban on homosexuality.
During the band’s performance, Healy addressed the audience before kissing his bassist and ending their set – claiming officials ordered them off the stage. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and is punishable by 20 years in prison.
In the show’s fan-shot footage, Healy told the crowd that the band’s decision to appear in Malaysia had been a “mistake.” “When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” Healy said. “I don’t see the [expletive] point, right? I do not see the point of inviting the 1975 to a country and telling us who we can have sex with.
“Unfortunately, you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m [expletive] furious,” the frontman continued. “And that’s not fair on you because you’re not representative of your government. Because you’re young people, and I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool.”
In a statement released by festival organizers Future Sound Asia on Saturday (July 22), they directly referenced Healy’s behavior, and the band has been banned from playing in the country again.
“We deeply regret to announce that the remaining schedule for Good Vibes Festival 2023 has been canceled following the controversial conduct and remarks made by UK artist Matty Healy from the band the 1975,” the statement reads. “The decision adheres to the immediate cancelation directive issued at 1:20 p.m., 22 July 2023, by the Ministry of Communications and Digital. The Ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws.”
Wan Alman, entertainment director of Future Sound Asia, told the BBC that the 1975’s management “reassured” them the band “would adhere to all local performance guidelines, as do all international artists performing in the country. We were completely surprised that the performance took such a turn.”
He continued, “I think it’s very easy for him to fly in and do whatever he wants to do, and then just fly out without having to face or take accountability for any consequences for his actions, while the ones who suffered implications are his fans here because his set was cut short, the festival organizers, and the industry as a whole.”
Good Vibes was to have continued with a lineup including the Strokes, The Kid LAROI, Porter Robinson, Dermot Kennedy, and Giveon. Many of the same acts are also performing this weekend in Jakarta at We the Fest, including the 1975.
Posting on Twitter after the show, Healy said: “Thank you, Dubai, you were so amazing. I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behavior,’ but know that I love you, and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given a chance again.”