Photo: Begoña from Errenteria, España

Malaysian Music Fest Shut Down After Matt Healy Comments

On Saturday (7.22) the remainder of the Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes music festival was cancelled by the Malaysian government following comments made onstage by the 1975’s Matty Healy slamming the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Following Healy’s “controversial conduct and remarks,” Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital issued an “immediate cancellation directive” that forced the three-day festival to be shut down.

In a formal statement from the event organizers:

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

“Prior to the festival, the 1975 management team reassured us that Healy and the band would adhere to local performance guidelines. Regrettably, Healy did not honor these assurances, despite our trust in their commitment. Healy’s actions took us by complete surprise, and we halted the show as promptly as feasible following the incident,” organizers added in a separate statement.

“Healy’s unprofessional behavior and overt defiance of Malaysian laws and regulations are disturbing. Healy chose to utilize his performance as a platform to express his personal views, rather than delivering the quality show that his Malaysian fans were eagerly anticipating. This act is deeply unfair to his fans who were looking forward to enjoying a memorable music experience.”

On Friday (7.21,) Matty apologized to fans for accepting Good Vibes’ invitation to play, stating that he was unaware of Malaysia’s hardline stance toward the LGBTQ community and that same-sex relationships are outlawed in the country and punishable by prison time and caning.

“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.” “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,” wrote Healy.

The band’s frontman subsequently told the audience that the band had previously played a gig in an LGBTQ-unfriendly country — “I don’t know what the fuck it is,” Healy said; it was Dubai in 2019, where Healy kissed a male fan onstage to protest the laws — and, upon concluding his speech, kissed the 1975 bassist Ross McDonald.

Following the show’s seventh song, “I Couldn’t Be More in Love,” the gig was abruptly cut short, with Healy telling the crowd they “just got banned from Kuala Lumpur.”

Good Vibes organizers added, “We sincerely apologize to all of our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors and partners. We are aware of the time, energy and efforts you have put into making this festival a success, and we value your steadfast support. We will update you on the refund mechanics as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this challenging time.”

Good Vibes had headlining sets by the Kid Laroi and the Strokes scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, with Ty Dolla $ign, Elderbrook, Porter Robinson and more also on the lineup.

“Touched down & found out the festival is canceled,” the Kid Laroi wrote in an Instagram story from the airport. “I love you Malaysia, I’m sorry.”

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Begoña from Errenteria, España