A Malaysian festival has announced that the event has been cancelled following the “controversial conduct and remarks” made by Matty Healy while he performed with his band The 1975.
Healy, 34, had been at the Good Vibes Festival on Friday when he made a speech about homosexuality, which is illegal in Malaysia, and kissed bassist Ross MacDonald.
— Good Vibes Festival (@GoodVibesFest) July 22, 2023
On Saturday, the festival said in a statement: “We deeply regret to announce that the remaining schedule for Good Vibes Festival (GVF2023), planned for today and tomorrow has been cancelled following the controversial conduct and remarks made by UK artist Matt Healy from the band The 1975.”
It added that the decision was an “immediate cancellation directive” from Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital.
“The ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule or contravene Malaysian laws,” organisers said.
“We sincerely apologise to all of our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors and partners.”
In footage on social media, Healy said he was going to “pull out” of the show as he did not “see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with”.
However, he said he chose to appear at the festival because he did not want to disappoint fans.
— The 1975 (@the1975) July 21, 2023
Healy also said: “Unfortunately you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m f****** furious and that’s not fair on you, because you’re not representative of your government because you are young people, and I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool.”
He was then seen walking off stage before coming back on later and saying: “Alright, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”
Other acts such as Australian singer-songwriter The Kid Laroi and American rock band The Strokes had been due to play over the weekend.
In an Instagram story, The Kid Laroi said he was “sorry” after he found out about the cancellation when his flight landed in Malaysia.
Fahmi Fadzil, Malaysia’s communications minister, also criticised Healy’s comments and confirmed that he had contacted festival organisers over the event.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital also wrote in a statement that The 1975 had been blacklisted under a body that oversees foreign artists playing in Malaysia.
A source, who is close to the band, said: “Matty has a long-time record of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and the band wanted to stand up for their LGBTQ+ fans and the community.”
In 2019, Healy won ally of the year at the 2019 Diva Awards for supporting the LGBT+ community.
Footage posted previously has seen the frontman kiss a male crowd safety worker mid-performance while singing in Denmark and a male fan in Dubai.
In 2019, he wrote on Twitter: “Thank you Dubai you were so amazing. I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again.”
The 1975 have been contacted for comment.