The Government of Malaysia has decided against banning all concerts in the country, following the row over The 1975 frontman Matty Healy kissing his bandmate on stage.
The traditionally conservative country has decided against a blanket ban on concerts, after Healy kissed band mate Ross McDonald on stage at Good Vibes Festival while denouncing Malaysia’s anti-LGBT laws. The Malaysian Government decides which artists are allowed to play in the country.
The New Straits Times has reported that the government argued concerts should have a ‘kill switch’ to end performances early, should they break guidelines. The government was also debating if international performers should be banned from playing in Malaysia.
The Malaysian newspaper reported that Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching announced the move to rule out the ban, arguing that local fans and international artists should not be punished for one band’s misdemeanours.
“The 1975 flouted several guidelines and we are in the midst of strengthening the guidelines to avoid reoccurrence,” said Ching. “Just because of one incident, how can we cancel the others? Out of 296 artists only one happened. How is this fair?”
Ching added that the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) approved 296 foreign artist performances in 2023, and there had only been one incident reported.
Following the on stage incident, there were reports that Future Sound Asia (FSA) – which organised Good Vibes Festival – was chasing The 1975 for payment, threatening that the band would face legal action in the UK if they did not pay.