Malaysian government cancels Good Vibes Festival after Matty Healy protest on stage

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Good Vibes Festival matt healy

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Photo credit: Ian Purple Yellow / CC from 4.0

The Malaysian government has canceled the remainder of the Good Vibes festival after English singer Matty Healy kissed a man in protest at anti-gay laws.

Healy publicly criticized the Malaysian government on stage and used profanity in his speech against the government’s stance on homosexuality. Hey then kissed bassist Ross MacDonald on stage – with video of the incident uploaded to social media. Once these videos went viral, it sparked a backlash across the internet.

“We deeply regret to announce that the remainder of the Good Vibes Festival 2023 scheduled for today and tomorrow has been canceled due to the controversial behavior and comments of UK artist Matty Healy of the band The 1975,” the organizers said in a statement begins.

“This decision is in line with the immediate cancellation order issued by the Department of Communications and Digital on July 22 at 1:20 p.m. The Ministry has underscored its unwavering stance on any party who engages in ridicule or breaches Malaysian law.”

“We sincerely apologize to all of our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors and partners. We are aware of the time, energy and effort you have put into making this festival a success and we appreciate your unwavering support. We will inform you about the refund mechanisms as soon as possible. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this time.”

Matty Healy has often used his position on the stage to campaign 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 against homosexual acts. Homosexuality is a crime in Malaysia, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and caning. The agency responsible for approving overseas performances expressed disappointment at the band’s behavior during their visit to the country, calling it an insult and “disrespect for the laws of the country”.