Malaysia cancels music fest after British band The 1975's same-sex kiss onstage | Inquirer Entertainment

Malaysia cancels music fest after British band The 1975’s same-sex kiss onstage

/ 04:01 PM July 22, 2023

matty healy the 1975 kiss lgbt same-sex malaysia

  Matthew “Matty” Healy of the 1975 performs at the 2019 Governors Ball Festival at Randall’s Island on June 01, 2019 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/AFP 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities canceled a weekend music festival on Saturday after the frontman of a British indie rock group kissed his male bandmate following a tirade against the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and laws criminalizing sodomy are punishable by imprisonment.


LGBTQ people in the country also face regular discrimination by authorities.


British rockers The 1975 cut their Friday show at the Good Vibes music festival short after lead singer Matty Healy slammed Malaysia’s anti-gay laws in a profanity-filled speech, before kissing bassist Ross MacDonald on stage.

Healy told fans the band had thought of pulling out of the event, saying: “I do not see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.”

He later abruptly ended the set, saying: “All right, we gotta go. We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur.”

The on-stage protest was not a first for Healy, who kissed a male fan at a 2019 concert in the United Arab Emirates, which also has tough anti-LGBTQ laws.

Vowing swift action early Saturday, Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil posted a news report about the kiss and called it a “very rude act.”

He later ordered the “immediate cancellation” of the three-day festival after meeting with organizers.


“Never touch the sensitivities of the community, especially those that are against the manners and values of the local culture,” he said in a subsequent tweet.

In a statement also posted to Twitter, the festival confirmed the cancellation had been at the direction of the communications ministry “following the controversial conduct and remarks made by UK artist Matty Healy”.

“The Ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws,” the statement added.

The Good Vibes festival was scheduled to run through the weekend, with US band The Strokes set to headline on Sunday.

The episode comes two months after authorities seized over a hundred rainbow-colored, Pride-themed watches from Swiss watchmaker Swatch.

The company has since sued the government, seeking damages while demanding a return of the watches.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: Taylor Swift, Matty Healy split after realizing they’re ‘not compatible with each other’—reports

TAGS: Malaysia, The 1975

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.