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Malaysian musicians ready lawsuit against The 1975 over festival cancellation

The Good Vibes festival was cancelled last weekend after Healy condemned Malaysia's LGBTQ+ laws and kissed his bandmate Ross McDonald on stage.

By Nick Reilly

the 1975
The 1975. CREDIT: Jenn Five/Rolling Stone UK

A group of Malaysian musicians and festival vendors have joined forces for a class action lawsuit against The 1975 after frontman Matty Healy’s protest against the government‘s anti-LGBTQ+ laws led to the entire event’s cancellation.

The group were performing at the Good Vibes festival in Kuala Lumpur last Friday when Healy explained that he was not aware of the strict laws before accepting the gig.

“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,” he said.

“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 f*****g r*****s and I don’t care anymore,” he continued. “If you push, I am going to push back. I am not in the fucking mood, I’m not in the fucking mood.”

Healy then proceeded to kiss his bandmate Ross McDonald. The group’s set was cut a mere 30 minutes later and authorities cancelled the remaining two days of the festival. The 1975 have also been banned from performing in the country, while 18 police reports have been filed.

The lawsuit names Healy and his bandmates – McDonald, George Daniel and Adam Hann – and aims to secure compensation for the losses that arose due to the cancellation.

While international artists were paid before their performances, local artists faced less favourable payment terms.

A spokesperson for festival promoter Future Sound Asia told NME. “Unfortunately, the unforeseen cancellation of the festival does throw a spanner in the works. It’s a very regrettable situation and we fully acknowledge the impact on our local talent – all of whom have been immensely supportive in these challenging times.”

Lawyer Mathew Thomas Philip, representing the claimants, said that five musicians and vendors are currently participating in the class action.

Future Sound Asia is not involved in the class action, but says it is “currently exploring legal options”.

Healy’s actions have drawn a mixture of praise and condemnation. While some have said the star wanted to draw attention to the policies of the Malaysian government, others have said he risked ruining the work of localised LGBTQ+ activists.

The 1975 have been contacted for comment by Rolling Stone UK.