Festival demands damages from The 1975 after Matty Healy's on stage kiss

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Festival demands damages from The 1975 after Matty Healy defies anti-LGBTQ+ laws (Image: Getty Images)
Festival demands damages from The 1975 after Matty Healy defies anti-LGBTQ+ laws (Image: Getty Images)

A Malaysian festival has demanded damages from The 1975 after frontman Matty Healy defied their anti-LGBTQ+ laws with an on-stage kiss. They claimed his "abusive language, equipment damage and indecent stage behaviour” caused the event to be cancelled.

The controversial 34-year-old singer was performing at the Good Vibes Festival when he went on a long-winded rant about the country's laws,where LGBTQ+ people can face up to 20 years in prison, and proceeded to kiss bassist Ross MacDonald while on stage.

While on stage, he attacked the government and also said he was “furious” he had made “a mistake when we were booking shows”. After sharing a kiss, the band went on to play I Like America & America Likes Me. However, their set was soon cut short as Matty told festival-goers: "All right, we gotta go.

"We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, I'll see you later," he told the shocked crowd. The rest of the scheduled Good Vibes Festival - which included performances from The Kid Laroi and The Strokes - was later cancelled.

Future Sound Asia (FSA) issued a statement on Monday saying that it has issued the band with a letter of claim calling for The 1975 to “acknowledge their liability and compensate FSA for damages incurred”. Organisers said if their final warning wasn't addressed then legal proceedings in English courts will begin.

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Festival demands damages from The 1975 after Matty Healy's on stage kissMatty kisses the bassist while on stage in Kuala Lumpur

It added: “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.”

It also claimed the cancellation meant “significant financial losses for FSA and negatively (impacted) local artists and businesses that depended on the festival’s success – affecting the livelihoods of many Malaysians”. The band also contravened the agreement with FSA, the organisers claim.

Festival demands damages from The 1975 after Matty Healy's on stage kissThe group were banned from Malaysia for the protest (Getty Images)

“FSA deeply values the trust that fans and regulatory authorities have placed in them over the years,” organisers added. "The organisation remains unwavering in its commitment to fostering vibrant live music experiences in Malaysia, ensuring full compliance with local laws and regulations.”

Following their on-stage kiss, the group cancelled further concert dates. "Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows," the British band said in a statement to Sky News.

Zara Woodcock

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