Organisers of Good Vibes Festival have announced that they will be taking legal action against The 1975, following the band using their set to criticise Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws.
The moment took place during the band’s headlining set on July 21 – the first day of the three-day festival – when frontman Matty Healy, drinking on stage, smashed a festival-operated drone and kissed bassist Ross MacDonald in front of the crowd.
The set was cut short and the next day, the remainder of the three-day festival was later cancelled by the authorities and both Healy and the band were banned from performing in the country.
Now, it has been confirmed that the organisers behind the festival – Future Sound Asia – are pursuing legal action against them, and have sent a Letter Of Claim to the British indie band.
According to the press release, the claim demands that The 1975 acknowledge their liability and compensate Future Sound Asia (FSA) for the damages incurred. It also states that if the band fail to do so, the organisers will pursue legal proceedings in the Courts of England.
“FSA would like to reiterate their strong disapproval of the Band’s behaviour during their performance at GVF2023,” it reads. “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.”
Alongside stating that the on-stage display “tarnished” the festival’s reputation, the Letter of Claim also states that their actions “intentionally contravened the agreement they had with FSA” and directly led to the 2023 instalment of the festival being cancelled.
This, it adds, led to “significant financial losses for FSA and negatively impact[ed] local artists and businesses that depended on the festival’s success – affecting the livelihoods of many Malaysians.”
Representatives for The 1975 have told NME that they have no comment at this time.
Following their actions at the headline set last month, the Malaysian LGBTQ+ community have condemned Healy, suggesting Healy’s actions would make life for the LGBTQ+ community in the country worse.
Additionally, it was reported that by the end of June, 18 police reports had been filed regarding the incident and a class action lawsuit was being readied by Malaysian law firm Thomas Philip – which described the incident as a “deliberate reckless act done knowing well [sic] of the consequences”.
The week after the festival, Muse became the first international act to perform in Kuala Lumpur since the ordeal, and it was revealed that the band removed a song from their setlist to better suit the country’s performance guidelines. Instead of playing ‘We Are Fucking Fucked’, the band instead broke out a rendition of ‘Resistance’.
Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 has also weighed in on the situation and said he will not go to Malaysia after sharing a kiss with Healy while at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
He took to Instagram to share a screengrab of him and Matty Healy embracing mid-set. “I guess myself ‘AND’ The 1975 won’t be going to Malaysia – just a couple of dudes kissing during their phenomenal set at Lollapalooza,” he wrote.
Elsewhere at Lollapalooza, The 1975 seemed to poked fun at the Malaysia controversy before performing ‘It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You’.
The moment came during the part of their set where Healy begins to say something controversial, before the band abruptly cut him off with the beginning riff of the song. While performing the song during their set at this year’s Lollapalooza, Healy said: “You want my travel tip? Don’t go to…” before getting cut off by the start of the track.