The 1975’s Good Vibes Festival performance in Malaysia on Friday (July 21) took an unexpected turn when lead singer Matty Healy voiced his strong opposition to the country’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights.
In videos circulating on social media, the 34-year-old singer-songwriter can be heard expressing his frustration to the crowd. He emphasized that he was not directing his anger at the audience, recognizing that they were not representative of the government’s policies. Despite having considered canceling the show, Healy and the band decided not to let their fans down, who, he believed, were young, progressive, and supportive of LGBTQ+ rights.
However, Healy continued to challenge Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. As a bold statement of defiance, he shared an extended on-stage kiss with bandmate Ross MacDonald. The set ended half an hour earlier than scheduled, with Healy boldly announcing to the audience that they had been banned from Kuala Lumpur.
It’s worth noting that Matty Healy has a history of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. In 2019, he broke an anti-LGBTQ law in the United Arab Emirates during a show in Dubai, where he kissed a male concertgoer.
While there hasn’t been an official statement confirming The 1975’s ban from Malaysia, a source revealed that the band wanted to stand up for their LGBTQ+ fans and community. Billboard has reached out to representatives from the festival for further information.
According to Outright International, same-sex relationships are considered illegal in Malaysia, and some states enforce Islamic Sharia laws that criminalize gender non-conformity as well. The LGBTIQ community in Malaysia faces serious challenges, including arbitrary arrests, assault, extortion, and privacy violations by police and public officials, all due to these restrictive laws.
The 1975’s bold actions serve as a powerful statement of support for LGBTQ+ rights and highlight the ongoing struggle for equality in some parts of the world.