Malaysia To Implement “Kill Switch” For Performances From International Artists

In response to controversy surrounding The 1975’s halted set at Good Vibes Festival earlier this year, Malaysian authorities have implemented a new rule for live music performances in the country.

According to Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) all event organizers will be required to create a “kill switch,” capable of cutting off all power to a stage, if unwanted on-stage stage incidents—like The 1975 frontman Matty Healy’s kiss of a male bandmate—occur in the future.

“These are the guidelines from the incident and we hope that with stricter guidelines, we can ensure that performances by foreign artists can adhere to the culture in Malaysia,” KKD Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching told Malaysian news outlet The Star.

In addition to the kill switch, the Royal Malaysian Police will conduct background checks for all foreign artists ahead of their performances. 

Events that feature international acts will also be supervised by the Royal Malaysian Police and the country’s Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists (Puspal), as well as local and immigration authorities.

In late July at Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes Festival, Healy and The 1975 bassist Ross MacDonald kissed on stage in an act of protest against Malaysian laws that criminalize same-sex sexual activity and ban gender expression of trans people.

Healy’s comments on the country’s strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws while performing have led the Malaysian government to consider new ways to manage future events when hosting international performers, including banning foreign artists from performing in Sepang, the small town in Kuala Lumpur where Good Vibes Festival took place.

Festival organizers Future Sound Asia have sued The 1975 for breaching the terms of their performance contract and are currently seeking $2.5 million. 

The incident and ensuing fallout have remained a focus with the band. Healy addressed the incident with a ten-minute speech on stage in Dallas earlier this month, roughly three months on from Good Vibes Festival.

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Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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