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The 1975 cancel remainder of Asia tour after Malaysian festival controversy

Band's gigs in Indonesia and Taiwan called off 'due to current circumstances' following Matty Healy's comments slamming anti-LGBTQ laws shut down Kuala Lumpur music fest

By Daniel Kreps

The 1975's Matty Healy (Picture: Jenn Five/ Rolling Stone UK)

The 1975 have called off the remainder of their Asian tour following the band’s performance that resulted in the cancellation of a Malaysian music festival.

Matty Healy and company were scheduled to play at Jakarta, Indonesia’s We the Fest on Sunday as well as in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, but the band announced in a statement that both shows were now off.

“The 1975 regret to announce that their forthcoming shows in Jakarta and Taipei will no longer be going ahead as planned,” the group said.

“The band never takes the decision to cancel a show lightly and had been eagerly looking forward to playing for fans in Jakarta and Taipei but unfortunately, due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows.”

The cancellations come days after the 1975’s set at Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes festival was abruptly cut short after Healy criticized Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws onstage.

At the gig, Healy apologized to fans for accepting Good Vibes’ invitation to play, saying he was unaware of Malaysia’s hardline stance toward the LGBTQ community; same-sex relationships are outlawed in the country and punishable by prison time and caning.

“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” Healy said. “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.”

Healy continued, “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.”

Upon concluding his speech, Healy kissed the 1975 bassist Ross McDonald; the concert was cut short one song later, with Healy telling the crowd the 1975 “just got banned from Kuala Lumpur.”

The next day, Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital issued an “immediate cancellation directive” that forced the Good Vibes Festival to shut down, nixing headlining sets by the Kid Laroi and the Strokes.

Indonesia and Taiwan are notably less oppressive toward the LGBTQ+ community than Malaysia: Same-sex relationships are legal in both countries (except in Indonesia’s Muslim-dominant Aceh province), and while Indonesia doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, Taiwan was the first Asian nation to make that legal.

Despite the canceled Asia shows, the 1975 will return to the stage shortly as they’re booked to perform at Lollapalooza in Chicago next month, along with gigs at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful, Atlanta’s Music Midtown and the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds festival.

From Rolling Stone US.