The organisers of Malaysia's Good Vibes festival, which was shut down by the country's Ministry of Communications and Digital following an onstage speech by The 1975's Matty Healy in support of LGBTQ+ rights, are demanding two million pounds in damages from the band.
On July 21, The 1975 had their set at the festival in Kuala Lumpur shut down after Healy labelled the Malaysian government "retards" for upholding strict laws banning same-sex relationships, and admitted that, in accepting an invitation to play the festival, the band had made an error of judgement.
"I made a mistake," Healy told the Good Vibes crowd. "When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the fucking point, right, I do not see the point of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.
"I am sorry if that offends you and you’re religious and it’s part of your fucking government, but your government are a bunch of fucking retards and I don’t care anymore. If you push, I am going to push back. I am not in the fucking mood."
"Unfortunately," the singer continued, "you don't get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m fucking furious. And that’s not fair on you because you’re not representative of your government. Because you are young people and I am sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool. So I pulled the show yesterday and we had a conversation and we said, ‘You know what? We can’t let these kids down because they’re not the government'."
Healy then kissed bassist Ross MacDonald as a protest against the restrictions, before being ordered off the stage. After Healy's speech went viral, the remainder of the festival was cancelled, with the organisers stating that the decision came as the result of an "immediate cancellation directive" from Malaysia's Ministry of Communications and Digital, based upon its "unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule or contravene Malaysian laws."
Now the organisers, Future Sound Asia, have told Rolling Stone that the band have until August 14 to pay them two million pounds or they will face legal action.
"I can confirm that my firm (Messrs Steven Thiru & Sudhar Partnership) issued a seven-day Letter of Claim to the UK band 1975 demanding for RM12.3million (£2,099,154.54) in damages on behalf of Future Sound Asia (FSA), attorney David Matthew told Rolling Stone. "The claim against The 1975 is essentially for breach of contract. 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. 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."
The 1975 have yet to publicly respond to the demand.
Watch Matty Healy's speech below:
this was actually so powerful pic.twitter.com/V6OnZW6kSjJuly 21, 2023