Jakarta, Indonesia –
British pop-rock band The 1975 announced on Sunday that they are canceling performances in Jakarta and Taipei after the Malaysian government canceled a music festival after the band’s lead singer denounced the country’s anti-gay laws and kissed a male bandmate during a performance.
The 1975 were scheduled to perform at We The Fest, Indonesia’s annual summer music festival in Jakarta on Sunday night as part of their 2023 Asia tour.
“The 1975 are sad to announce that their upcoming shows in Jakarta and Taipei will no longer take place as scheduled,” the group said in a statement posted on We The Fest’s social media platforms on Sunday. They added that the decision was not taken lightly, adding, “However, unfortunately due to the current situation, it is not possible for us to continue with our current show.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Islamic state, has not banned LGBTQ rights except in the conservative Aceh province.
The 1975 lead singer Matt Healy used profanity in a speech criticizing the government’s stance on homosexuality before kissing bass player Ross Macdonald. Videos of the incident were posted on social media and sparked a backlash in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fazil, condemned Matty Healy’s actions late Friday, saying in a Facebook post that homosexuality is a crime in the country, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and flogging.
It wasn’t the first time Healy had used the stage to defend lesbian and gay rights. In 2019, she kissed a male fan during a concert in the United Arab Emirates, which also criminalizes homosexuality, according to media reports.