The 1975 are now facing possible legal action over their scuttled July performance at a music festival in Malaysia, as Rolling Stone and Billboard report. Organizers of Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes Festival have said their plans to seek undisclosed financial damages from the band, whose leader, Matty Healy, denounced the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation before kissing bassist Ross MacDonald on stage last month. Representatives for the 1975 offered no comment.
The legal threat comes from Future Sound Asia, which had planned the weekend-long festival with the Strokes and the Kid Laroi as its other headliners. An attorney for the organization provided a statement to Rolling Stone:
Future Sound Asia’s claim against The 1975 is, in the main, one for intentional breach of contract. Mr. Healy’s representative categorically provided a pre-show written assurance that Mr. Healy and The 1975’s live performance shall adhere to all local guidelines and regulations during their set in Malaysia. Despite this, the assurance was ignored, and the band’s actions clearly contravened the agreement with Future Sound Asia. This led to the cancellation of the festival which, in turn, caused significant losses to Future Sound Asia.
During the 1975’s July 21 set at Good Vibes, Healy spoke out against the country’s policy that bars gay marriage and makes homosexuality punishable with a 20-year prison sentence. “If you want to invite me here to do a show, you can fuck off. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done this before and it doesn’t feel good, and I’m fucked off,” Healy told the crowd. The set came to an abrupt end shortly thereafter, with Healy saying, “All right, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur. See you later.”
Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital canceled the rest of the three-festival on July 22, and the 1975 canceled their remaining dates in Jakarta and Taipei. At the time, a representative from Future Sounds Asia expressed concern that the incident would “erode the confidence of music promoters and various stakeholders in the live entertainment industry across the nation and threaten the stability of our burgeoning live arts scene.” The 1975 still have a North American tour slated to begin in mid-September in Atlanta.