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The aftermath of The 1975’s profanity-filled rant condemning Malaysia’s anti-LGBT laws and same sex kiss

Malaysia’s Communications Minister canceled the Good Vibes Festival 2023 after British band The 1975 violated local laws with an anti-LGBT stunt.

The festival was in its 10th anniversary when the singer launched an expletive-filled tirade and engaged in a deep kiss with a bandmate.



MALAYSIA — Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil canceled the Good Vibes Festival (GVF) 2023 after a non-compliant stunt by British band The 1975 that violated Malaysian laws.

The Minister issued an “immediate cancellation directive” on the remainder of the three-day GVF after The 1975 lead singer Matt Healy launched into an expletive-riddled tirade against Malaysia’s anti-LGBT laws and followed up with a deep mouth-to-mouth kiss with bassist Ross MacDonald.

The stunt was widely shared on social media by concertgoers who captured the moment on their smartphones and sparked an intense debate that went international.

The 10th-anniversary edition of the music festival kicked off on Friday (21 July), The 1975 was one of the first band to perform on the first day at Sepang International Circuit (SIC), the ban is now blacklisted from performing in Malaysia.

The ministry requested a meeting with the festival organiser on Saturday (22 July) to address the issue.

“I want to stress that the Unity Government’s stand is very clear. No compromise towards anyone who challenges, ridicules and violates Malaysian laws.

“I have ordered the immediate cancellation of the rest of the festival that was scheduled to run from today (22 July) to tomorrow (23 July),” he posted on Twitter after meeting the organisers.

Fahmi said he understood the implication of his decision on those who had already bought the tickets to the three-day music festival and called on the organiser to come up with a compensation mechanism for them.

He said the government is dedicated to backing the growth of the creative industry and upholding freedom of speech, but with a caveat.

“Do not ever touch on issues that are sensitive to society, especially those that go against local custom and cultural values.”

On Saturday (22 July), Singaporean singer Dhruv, who was also scheduled to perform at the Good Vibes Festival in Sepang, took to Instagram that he would not be attending.

The Double Take singer claimed he had been stuck at the airport for 14 hours and was barred from entering Malaysia.

“I am so sorry to anyone that got a ticket to see me play.

“I’m devastated but I will make it my number one priority to come back here,” he posted on Instagram Stories.

Dhruv was scheduled to be part of the music festival’s line-up on Saturday (22 Jul), together with Australian singer-songwriter and rapper, The Kid Laroi and American singer-songwriter and record producer, Alexander 23.

Attorneys plan to initiate a class action lawsuit against The 1975

After the incident, a team of lawyers has volunteered to provide pro bono legal assistance to vendors and artists impacted by the Good Vibes Festival’s cancellation.

In a LinkedIn post by Malaysian lawyer Mathew Thomas Philip, he expressed his readiness to represent the affected parties and initiate a lawsuit against The 1975 for causing financial losses to vendors and artists.

“The Good Vibes Festival got canceled and I presume that the local artists who were to perform today and tomorrow will not get their full pay because of this cancellation.

I am happy to represent all the local artist pro bono to sue the band The 1975 for causing loss,” he wrote.

He vented his frustration at The 1975, criticising them for failing to fulfill their responsibilities as performers.

In another update, Philip wrote in a Facebook post that he and several lawyers had came up with the first draft of a class action lawsuit against the British band.

Those affected by the event’s cancellation are also encouraged to attend the Townhall Meeting organised by Philip’s law firm next Tuesday (25 Jul) at Barrister’s Brew in Sri Hartamas.

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