Concert organisers in Malaysia reportedly told to implement kill switches at shows following The 1975 kiss controversy

“We hope with stricter guidelines, foreign artists will respect local culture.”

Matty Healy on stage. He is playing a red Stratocaster guitar and is singing into a mic. The stage around him is smokey.

Image: Gary Miller / Getty Images

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Concert organisers in Malaysia have reportedly been told to introduce power kill switches at further live shows. The move follows The 1975’s controversial on-stage kiss at Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur last July.

During their set, frontman Matty Healy kissed bassist Ross MacDonald. The 1975 were then banned from the country after breaching LGBTQ+ laws, and organisers cancelled the rest of the festival as part of an “immediate cancellation directive” from Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital.

Some people criticised the band for the move, whilst others have praised their stance on the issue. Healy has since made a statement on the kiss during a 10 minute speech he gave at a show in Texas on 9 October.

Healy said during his speech that the kiss was “not a stunt simply meant to provoke the government” but was instead an “ongoing part of The 1975 stage show which had been performed many times prior.”

Concert organisers have now been instructed to use kill-switches to avoid incidents like The 1975’s, as reported by The Star. Deputy Communications and Digital Minister, Teo Nie Ching, claims the guidance had been issued to those running concerts and festivals as a direct consequence of the band’s actions.

“The government has asked concert organisers to… cut off electricity supply if there is any unwanted incident [during a performance],” she said on Monday 30 October in the Dewan Rakyat. “This is a new guideline after the incident. We hope with stricter guidelines, foreign artists [will respect] local culture,” she added.

Background checks on foreign artists will also be carried out before they can perform in Malaysia, and various authorities will be present at venues.

Following the end of their Still… At Their Very Best tour in March 2024, The 1975 will go on hiatus. Healy has already confirmed that this does not mean that the band are splitting up.

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