Good Vibes Festival Nixed, The 1975 Banned in Malaysia for Onstage Kiss
by: The Beat Asia
July 25, 2023
The Malaysian government has banned English pop rock band The 1975 from performing in the country after frontman Matty Healy kissed a male bandmate onstage during their performance at the Good Vibes Festival in Sepang last Friday, July 21.
Healy also criticised Muslim-majority Malaysia for its laws against the LGBTQ+ community that criminalise same-sex relations and gender-nonconformity.
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil took to social media to condemn the incident, as per government news portal Bernama on July 22. "This is a very disrespectful act. I have summoned the organiser to explain today and will contact the authorities to get a full report," Fahmi had written on Twitter.
Following the controversy, organisers of the Good Vibes Festival released a statement saying the rest of its schedule for July 22 and 23 have been cancelled due to the conduct and remarks of Healy.
"The decision adheres to the immediate cancellation directive issued at 1:20 PM, 22 July 2023, by the Ministry of Communications and Digital," the statement read. "The Ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws."
Fest organisers promised ticket holders that they will release refund mechanics as soon as possible.
Fahmi also shared a statement from the central committee for the application for filming and performance by foreign artists (JK-PUSPAL) via Facebook on the same day. The actions of Healy have disrespected the laws of Malaysia and violated the morals of Malaysians, as per PUSPAL, which led to its decision to blacklist The 1975 from performing in the country.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital through JK-PUSPAL likewise filed a police report against Healy and festival organisers for failing to comply with PUSPAL's conditions.
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