The Malaysian government cancelled the rest of the Good Vibes Festival after English singer Matty Healy kissed a male in protest of anti-gay laws.
Healy publicly criticized the Malaysian government while on stage, using profanity in his speech against the government’s stance on homosexuality. Healy then kissed bass player Ross MacDonald on stage—with video of the incident uploaded to social media. As soon as those videos went viral, a backlash was sparked online.
“We deeply regret to announce that the remaining schedule of the Good Vibes Festival 2023 planned for today and tomorrow has been cancelled following the controversial conduct and remarks made by UK artist Matty Healy from the band The 1975,” the organizers statement begins.
“This decision adheres to the immediate cancellation directive issued at 1:20 PM, July 22, by the Ministry of Communications and Digital. The Ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws.”
“We sincerely apologize to all of our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors, and partners. We are aware of the time, energy, and efforts you have put into making this festival a success, and we value your steadfast support. We will update you on refund mechanics as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this time.”
Matty Healy has often used his position on stage to advocate for gay rights. In 2019, he kissed another male fan on stage during a concert in the United Arab Emirates, which also has unfavorable laws toward homosexual acts. Homosexuality is a crime in the country of Malaysia that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and caning. The agency in charge of approving foreign performances said it was disappointed with the band’s conduct while visiting the country, calling it an insult and “disrespectful of the laws of the country.”