Everything About The 1975 Saga in Malaysia Whereby the Authorities Stepped in to Stop the Festival


Last Updated on 2023-07-25 , 11:45 am

British band The 1975 might have had a good run during their two shows in Singapore this week, but the same can’t be said for their performance at Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival.

The band and the festival had to pack up early after the band’s frontman Matty Healy violated performance guidelines.

Here’s everything you need to know about The 1975 saga.

The 1975 Frontman Matty Healy Criticised Malaysian Government; Kissed Band’s Male Bassist

On Friday (21 July), the first day of the three-day Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, The 1975 pulled a stunt that would leave Malaysian authorities speechless.

The band’s frontman, Matty Healy, gave a speech criticising the Malaysian government for its anti-LGBT laws, sharing that he could not understand the Malaysian authorities’ rationale behind “inviting The 1975 to a country and telling [them] who [they] can have sex with”.

Healy even goes to the extent of calling the Malaysian government “retards”.

We’re surprised the band didn’t interrupt him by cueing a song during his speech. Fans of The 1975 would be familiar with how the band usually cue a song once Healy begins a seemingly controversial speech.

@ohyeahuilii What just happened? #1975 #1975goodvibes #goodvibesfestival2023 #the1975inmalaysia ♬ original sound – ohyeahuilii

After Healy finished his speech, he kissed Ross MacDonald, the band’s male bassist.

Malaysia Bans The 1975 From Performing in Malaysia

If you thought the band would be thrown off the stage immediately after that speech, you’re wrong.

The band managed to continue their performance for a short while before abruptly leaving the stage.

“All right, we gotta go. We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur. I’ll see you later,” Healy said.

And he wasn’t lying about that—our neighbours’ Communications and Digital Ministry later confirmed that The 1975 had been blacklisted from performing in Malaysia.

RIP Malaysian fans of The 1975. Guess they’ll have to make the arduous journey across the causeway during the band’s next tour.

While this isn’t the first time Healy has kissed a male during the band’s performance, it is the first time he has caused an entire festival to be cancelled because of it.

Image: Twitter (@the1975)

“The Communications and Digital Ministry will not tolerate any party that provokes and engages in disrespectful behaviour while performing in Malaysia,” Puspal, the ministry’s central committee for the application for filming and performance by foreign artists, shared on Saturday (22 July).

Police reports were also lodged against The 1975.

Authorities Order Immediate Cancellation of Good Vibes Festival; Ticketholders to be Compensated

The 1975 isn’t the only one facing the consequences of their actions. Many others have also been caught in the crossfire, including organisers of the Good Vibes Festival, other artists slated to perform at the festival and, of course, the festival’s ticketholders.

Not only were police reports also lodged against the festival organisers for failing to ensure The 1975’s compliance with performance guidelines, but authorities also ordered the festival to be cancelled altogether.

Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Ministry ordered the immediate cancellation of the Good Vibes Festival and for all ticketholders to be compensated. The order was made at 1:20 pm on Saturday (22 July).


This means that fans won’t be able to catch other artists initially slated to perform at the festival, including popular acts like The Strokes and Daniel Caesar.

Good Vibes Festival Responds; Alleges That Healy Failed to Honour Assurances Made to Festival Organisers

Organisers of the Good Vibes Festival, Future Sound Asia (FSA), have since released an official statement confirming the reasons behind the festival’s cancellation while providing the public with more details about the saga.

According to FSA, the management team of The 1975 had allegedly reassured the festival organisers that the band would adhere to Malaysia’s performance guidelines.

So, not to kiss your male bandmate. And other stuff, we suppose.

To be fair, the performance guidelines are rather strict compared to other countries—performers are not allowed to cross-dress or even remove articles of clothing during concerts.

“Regrettably, Healy did not honour 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,” the organisers of the Good Vibes Festival shared in their statement.


FSA also condemned Healy for utilising the performance to express his personal views rather than to deliver “the quality show that his Malaysian fans were eagerly anticipating”.

Regardless, FSA apologised for the incident and assured the public that steps would be taken to ensure such an incident does not repeat itself. Details on the ticketholder refund process will also be released soon.

A statement was also put up on the Good Vibes Festival’s Instagram page, and you can bet your bottom dollar that netizens would flood the comments section with angry comments.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Good Vibes Festival (@goodvibesfest)

While many pointed their fingers at the band, a sizable number also blamed the festival organisers for cancelling the festival entirely, which also “punishes” ticketholders and other artists.


Not so “good vibes”, after all…

Matty Healy Apparently Unapologetic About His Actions

While the band has yet to release an official comment on the saga, it seems that 34-year-old Healy is far from apologetic for his actions.

Malaysian YouTuber Luqman Podolski, better known as Dol, decided to direct message Healy on Instagram with a “f**k you” following the incident.

And suffice it to say, Healy wasn’t having it. The frontman responded with several tongue-in-cheek comments about how he was devastated about Dol’s message.

Image: Instagram (@luqmanpodolski)

Subsequently, the 25-year-old YouTuber responded to Healy’s text with a lengthy message urging Healy to “have some respect” when he’s in other countries.

In response, Healy merely said, “Nah I’m good bro”, followed by another text sarcastically thanking Dol for the advice.

Image: Instagram (@luqmanpodolski)

The 1975, perhaps not “At Their Very Best”…