Criticism of Anti-Gay Laws Brings Music Festival to an End

Malaysian government says Matty Healy and 1975 promised not to do that
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2023 2:30 PM CDT
Criticism of Anti-Gay Laws Brings Music Festival to an End
Matty Healy of the 1975 performs at the Reading Music Festival in England last August.   (Photo by Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP, file)

Good Vibes came to an end mid-set when Malaysia stopped a performance during the music festival's opening night in response to a singer's criticism of the nation's anti-LGBTQ+ laws. On Saturday, organizers announced that the government had canceled the three-day event in Kuala Lumpur because of Matty Healy's "unprofessional behavior and overt defiance of Malaysian laws," Rolling Stone reports. The government agency that approves performances of foreign artists said the band, 1975, will not be allowed to perform again in Malaysia, per the AP.

Onstage Friday, Healy apologized to fans for accepting the booking, saying he didn't know about the laws at the time; same-sex relationships are outlawed in Malaysia, with offenses punishable by prison sentences and caning. "I do not see the point of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with," he said. After the seventh song, Healy announced the band "just got banned." Festival organizers also apologized, to concertgoers, vendors, and sponsors, saying 1975's management had provided assurances that Healy and the band would follow local performance guidelines. Instead, the nation's communications and digital minister said, Healy's behavior was "very rude." (More LGBTQ stories.)

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