Organisers of Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival are seeking RM12.3 million (AUD $4 million) from The 1975 in damages following their recent set at the festival in July. The British band were midway through performing at the festival when frontman Matty Healy criticised the Malaysian government over its anti-LGBTQ laws.
Healy kissed bassist Ross MacDonald onstage, before telling the audience that it was “fucking ridiculous to tell people what they can do with that and that [gestured to groin]… 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.”
Matt Healy Criticises anti-LGBTQ Laws Onstage in Malaysia
The set was cut short and the remaining two days of the festival were completely cancelled by Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital. The band was subsequently banned from performing in the country ever again.
Earlier this week, Future Sound Asia – the organisers of the festival – offered a statement to Rolling Stone flagging that legal action was on the horizon, saying The 1975’s actions amounted to an 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,” the statement read. “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.”
Future Sound Asia have now ordered the band to pay the AUD $4 million fee before Monday, 14th August, or face legal action.
Additionally, according to Rolling Stone a number of Malaysian musicians and food vendors are joining in a class action lawsuit against The 1975 over losses caused by the festival cancellation.
The 1975 are yet to comment on the demand from Future Sound Asia – but Healy did appear to reference the Good Vibes incident while on stage in Hawaii earlier this week. “All I’ll say is that I don’t give a fuck about any white saviour complex bullshit,” Healy told the crowd.
“What I’ll say is that doing the right thing often requires quite a lot of sacrifice and very little reward. And being seen to do the right thing requires very little sacrifice, and that’s when you get all the rewards. And me and Ross [MacDonald] nearly shaved our heads because we thought we were going to prison for being f*gs”.