1975: Band sued for £2m after Matty Healy ‘breaks contract’ with same-sex kiss at Malaysia festival

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The 1975 is facing a £2 million lawsuit for allegedly breaching contract terms during a controversial show in Malaysia. The British band’s performance at the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur was abruptly ended when lead singer Matt Healy kissed bassist Ross MacDonald and criticized the country’s anti-LGBT+ laws, which criminalize homosexual acts. The Malaysian government deemed the band’s actions “extremely rude” and banned them from performing in the country again. The festival, organized by Future Sounds Asia (FSA), was subsequently canceled. FSA claims that The 1975 had provided a written assurance to adhere to local guidelines and regulations but failed to do so, leading to the event’s cancellation. Now, FSA’s lawyers are demanding £2,099,154.54 in compensation.

Ticketholders were disappointed as they missed out on performances by other artists such as The Kid Laroi and The Strokes. FSA’s legal counsel, David Mathew, stated that the claim against The 1975 is based on breach of contract. The band had entered into a binding agreement with FSA to perform, and the organization contends that this contractual obligation was violated. Healy’s representative had given a written assurance that the band’s performance would adhere to all local guidelines and regulations, but this assurance was disregarded. FSA is taking legal action to address the band’s breach of contract, which has negatively impacted local artists and small businesses that rely on the festival for creative opportunities and their livelihoods. FSA hopes that this action will provide some closure to the affected Malaysian community.

In addition to the lawsuit, The 1975 has been blacklisted under an organization overseeing foreign artists playing in Malaysia, as announced by the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Digital. As a result, the band canceled two tour dates, one in Jakarta, Indonesia, and another in Taipei, Taiwan. The FSA has previously stated that if their final warning goes unheeded, legal proceedings in English courts will be initiated.

The Independent has reached out to Matt Healy for comment. Additional reporting by agencies.

Picture: Matty Healy kissed bandmate Ross MacDonald in protest against Malaysia’s anti-LGBT+ laws. (Getty Images)

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