Advertisement

The 1975 Hit With $2 Million Demand from Malaysian Festival

The organizer of Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival is seeking over $2 million in damages from the 1975 after frontman Matty Healy’s on-stage protest against the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws resulted in authorities canceling the event.

The shutdown resulted in numerous bands and small businesses on the bill — including local artists and global acts such as the Strokes — kicked to the curb. A legal counsel for Future Sound Asia, the agency behind Good Vibes Festival, issued a letter addressing a “breach of contract” on behalf of the 1975 that requests the band provide compensation for the agency’s losses after the cancellation of the annual, three-day event.

More from Variety

According to the letter issued Aug. 8, the band has a limited number of days to present compensation. A representative for the band declined Variety‘s request for comment.

“They entered into a binding contract with Future Sound Asia to perform and the position of Future Sound Asia, among others, is that this contractual obligation was breached,” writes Future Sound Asia attorney David Matthew in a statement provided to Variety. “Further, 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. Unfortunately, the assurance was ignored.”

Matthew continues, “[The 1975’s] actions have had repercussions on local artists and small businesses, who relied on the festival for creative opportunities and their livelihoods.”

The 1975 performed in the country’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, on July 21 where Healy addressed the country’s views on same-sex marriage and said he had “made a mistake” in booking a show in the country.

“I don’t see the fucking point… of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” Healy said before cutting the concert, a headlining slot at Good Vibes Festival, short. “I’m sorry if that offends you, and you’re religious… but your government are a bunch of fucking r——. I don’t care anymore. If you push, I’m gonna push back. I’m not in the fucking mood.”

After making his point, Healy kissed his male bandmate — bassist Ross MacDonald — on stage, resulting in the group getting banned from performing in Malaysia. Being LGBTQ in the country is illegal, with laws strictly enforced and queer people frequently subject to hate crimes. Shortly after, the entire festival was canceled.

Best of Variety