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Malaysian festival has demanded damages from The 1975 over allegations that frontman Matty Healy’s “abusive language, equipment damage and indecent stage behaviour” caused the event to be cancelled.
At the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur in July, Healy made a speech about homosexuality, which is illegal in Malaysia, and kissed bassist Ross MacDonald on stage.
The three-day event was subsequently axed and headliners Australian singer-songwriter The Kid Laroi and American rock band The Strokes did not play.
Future Sound Asia (FSA) issued a statement on Monday saying that it has issued the band with a letter of claim calling for The 1975 to “acknowledge their liability and compensate FSA for damages incurred”.
The organisers of the Good Vibes Festival said if the final warning is not addressed than legal proceedings in English courts will begin.
It adds: “FSA would like to reiterate their strong disapproval of the band’s behaviour during their performance at GVF2023.
“In particular, lead singer Matthew Timothy Healy’s use of abusive language, equipment damage, and indecent stage behaviour not only flagrantly breached local guidelines and Malaysian laws but also tarnished the reputation of the 10-year-old festival.”
It also claimed the cancellation meant “significant financial losses for FSA and negatively (impacted) local artists and businesses that depended on the festival’s success – affecting the livelihoods of many Malaysians”.
The band also contravened the agreement with FSA, the organisers claim.
“FSA deeply values the trust that fans and regulatory authorities have placed in them over the years,” organisers added.
“The organisation remains unwavering in its commitment to fostering vibrant live music experiences in Malaysia, ensuring full compliance with local laws and regulations.”
In footage shared on social media last month, Healy said he was going to “pull out” of the show as he did not “see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with”.
However, the 34-year-old singer said he decided to appear at the festival because he did not want to disappoint fans.
Healy also said: “Unfortunately you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m f****** furious and that’s not fair on you, because you’re not representative of your government because you are young people, and I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool.”
He was then seen walking off stage before coming back and saying: “Alright, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”
Last month, The Good Vibes Festival said the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Digital gave them an “immediate cancellation directive” following “controversial conduct and remarks” made by Healy.
The ministry said The 1975 had been blacklisted under a body that oversees foreign artists playing in Malaysia.
The 1975 then cancelled two tour dates, at the We The Fest in Jakarta, Indonesia, and at the Taipei Music Centre in Taiwan, in Asia following the event.