The 1975 festival set in Malaysia was cut short after Matty Healy criticized anti-LGBTQ+ laws

In 1975, a festival set in Malaysia was interrupted after frontman Matty Healy criticized the country’s government for its LGBTQ+ laws, and kissed the band’s bassist on stage.

During their headlining set at the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur on Friday July 21, Healy gave a speech calling on the Malaysian government for its hardline stance on gay rights.

“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking at it. I don’t see the fucking point, right, I don’t see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” said Healy.

He continued: “I’m sorry if that offends you and you’re religious and it’s part of your fucking government, but your government is a bunch of fucking retards and I don’t care. If you push, I’m back. I’m not in the mood, I’m not in the mood.”

Healy later told the crowd that the night would not feature a set of their more “uplifting” material due to his disappointment.

“Unfortunately, you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m so angry and that’s not fair to you because you’re not represented by your government,” he said. “Because you are young people and I’m sure many of you are gay and progressive and cool. So I pulled the show yesterday and we had a conversation and we said ‘You know what? We cannot neglect these children because they are not the problem’.”

He added: “But, I’ve done it before, I’ve been to a country where, I don’t know what it is? It’s funny. It’s ridiculous to tell people what they can do with their this and that [points to groin and mouth] and if you want to invite me here to do a show, you can fuck off. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done it before and it doesn’t feel good and I’m disgusted.”

Fan-shot footage showed that after her speech, bassist Ross MacDonald approached her and then the two began kissing. After their seventh song, ‘I Couldn’t Be More In Love’, Healy told the crowd they had to go, saying the band had “just been banned from Kuala Lumpur”. 1975 then left the stage.

Good Vibes Festival shared an official statement stating that it was “regrettable[ted]” the set was cut due to “not following local performance guidelines”.

“Good Vibes Festival has always been committed to providing enjoyable musical experiences, and we sincerely thank you for your continued support,” they added. “Good Vibes Festival 2023 will continue as scheduled, and we look forward to your presence on Saturday and Sunday.”

The festival added: “To those who attended on Friday 21 July 2023, we understand your frustration. If you have a Friday single-day festival wristband, you can now attend the festival on either Saturday or Sunday – just show your Friday single-day wristband at the main entrance to gain entry. We hope to see you again.”

Malaysian law criminalizes sexual activity between people of the same sex, with its penal code criminalizing “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and acts of “gross indecency”.

This is not the first time Healy has spoken out against anti-LGBTQ laws in another country. In 2019, the singer kissed a male fan at a show in Dubai, defying the Arab state’s strict anti-LGBTQ laws.

Footage of the moment showed Healy inviting the fan to hug him, before the pair shared a quick kiss. Homosexuality is illegal in Dubai and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Posting on Twitter after the show, he wrote: “Thank you Dubai, you are so beautiful. I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t do anything differently given the chance again.”

He added: “But who knows maybe they will let me in, let’s just wait.”

1975 has yet to issue a further comment on the incident in Malaysia. The band’s Asian tour continues with a date in Jakarta on Sunday July 23 before several dates in North America. They were recently drafted in as replacement headliners for Lewis Capaldi at next month’s Reading & Leeds festival in the UK, where they will perform their self-titled debut album in full to celebrate its 10th anniversary.


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