Malaysian festival threatens legal action after Matty Healy kisses The 1975 bandmate onstage

The festival's organisers claim the band's "controversial conduct" has impacted them financially.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 8th August 2023

A Malaysian music festival is threatening legal action against The 1975 after frontman Matty Healy kissed another bandmate on stage.

Good Vibes Festival – which was held in Kuala Lumpur last month – was cancelled following The 1975’s headline set after the Manchester-based band’s frontman, Matty Healy, spoke out against Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws on stage, before proceeding to kiss his bassist Ross MacDonald live onstage in front of the crowd.

During the band‘s performance, Healy first told the crowd he had planned to pull-out of the festival, as he didn’t “see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with”, but then explained he didn’t want to disappoint fans.

The 34-year-old reportedly told the crowd: “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.”

Malaysian festival threatens legal action after Matty Healy kisses The 1975 bandmate onstage / Credit: The 1975 (via Instagram)

He added that the crowd was full of “young people” and he was sure “a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool”, before proceeding to kiss his bandmate.


A short while later, Healy was seen walking off stage before coming back on and informing the audience: “Alright, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”

The festival confirmed in a statement issued on social media following what it called the band’s “controversial conduct” and the remarks made by Healy that it had taken the decision to cancel the rest of the three-day event.


The festival’s other two headliners did not play after the incident.

The festival said in its initial statement that the decision to axe the rest of the event was after the country’s Ministry of Communications and Digital had “underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian law”.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia, and are punishable under federal law.


Now, several weeks after the incident occurred, the organisers of the festival, Future Sound Asia (FSA), has claimed Healy’s “use of abusive language, equipment damage, and indecent stage behaviour” has impacted the company financially, and it would be taking legal action in England if the band does not respond to a claim letter that was issued today.

FSA said in a follow-up statement that its letter calls for The 1975 to “acknowledge their liability and compensate FSA for damages incurred”.

The company also claimed the band had “tarnished the reputation” of the festival.

Part of the company’s statement reads: “FSA would like to reiterate their strong disapproval of the band’s behaviour during their performance at GVF2023. In particular, lead singer Matthew Timothy Healy’s use of abusive language, equipment damage, and indecent stage behaviour not only flagrantly breached local guidelines and Malaysian laws but also tarnished the reputation of the 10-year-old festival.”

FSA also claimed the band’s actions had a negative impact on “local artists and businesses that depended on the festival’s success” and affected “the livelihoods of many Malaysians”.


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The 1975 is yet to publicly acknowledge the threat of legal action, it is understood.

Featured Image – The 1975