The 1975's Set At Malaysian Festival Cut Short After Matty Healy Disobeyed Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

22 July 2023 | 10:04 am | Mary Varvaris

Matty Healy claimed that The 1975 “just got banned from Kuala Lumpur.”

The 1975

The 1975 (Credit: Samuel Bradley)

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The 1975’s set at Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur was cut short after singer Matty Healy launched a furious tirade against the Malaysian government and kissed the band’s bassist Ross MacDonald on stage, directly breaking the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Headlining the festival on Friday (21 July), the band’s set was slashed short at just seven songs. The Malaysian penal code effectively outlaws same-sex relationships and sexual activity, criminalising “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”.

Outraged by the country’s laws, Healy let everyone at Good Vibes Festival know about it after the fifth song in the set, Looking For Somebody (To Love).

The singer began making a lengthy, pointed speech, telling the audience, “I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the fucking point, right? I do not see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” Healy said.  

“I am sorry if that offends you, and you’re religious, and it’s part of your fucking government, but your government are a bunch of fucking retards, and I don’t care anymore. If you push, I am going to push back. I am not in the fucking mood; I’m not in the fucking mood.”

Refusing to play the band’s more “uplifting” songs, Healy added, “I’m fucking furious, and that’s not fair on you because you’re not representative of your government.”

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“But, I’ve done this before; I’ve gone to a country where I don’t know what the fuck it is? Ridiculous. Fucking ridiculous to tell people what they can do with their that 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 this before, and it doesn’t feel good, and I’m fucked off,” Healy said, referencing a 2019 incident where he kissed a male fan in Dubai, disobeying strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws of the United Arab Emirates.

After the speech, Healy kissed MacDonald. The band subsequently launched into I Couldn’t Be More In Love from 2018’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Following the performance, Healy claimed that The 1975 “just got banned from Kuala Lumpur.” The singer and his bandmates promptly left the stage. You can watch footage of the speech and kiss below.

Good Vibes Festival later issued a statement on social media, with organisers saying the headliners’ set was cut short due to “non-compliance with local performance guidelines”, NME reports.

The statement added, “To those who attended on Friday, July 21, 2023, we understand your disappointment. If you have a Friday single-day festival wristband, you will now be able to attend the festival on either Saturday or Sunday – simply present your Friday single-day wristband at the main entrance for entry. We hope to see you soon.”

While some fans have applauded Healy’s stance, others are disappointed by his “rudeness” and say he “ruined” the festival. A punter claimed the singer was drunk and went on to say that The 1975 “placed thousands of livelihoods at risk. It’s hard to have int concerts in Malaysia to begin with. Now it’s even harder.”

Another fan said that what happened during The 1975’s set “wasn’t their fight”, adding “As a malaysian queer, what matty healy and the 1975 did was WORSE for malaysian queers. Now we are gonna have tolerate the political shitstorm thats about to happen while they are fine getting drunk in another country.”