Music

Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival Announces 2024 Return Following Last Year’s The 1975 LGBTQ Controversy

A year after pulling the plug on their festival early after The 1975 singer Matty Healy slammed Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws as “f–king ridiculous” before sharing a long kiss with bassist Ross MacDonald, Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes Festival has announced its return.

The two-day event at Resorts World Awana in Genting Highlands will take place on July 20-21, Joji and Russ headlining the first night, along with a lineup featuring Alec Benjamin, Haven, Peach Pit, Ylona Garcia, Cherry Bomb, Spooky Wet Dreams, Bad Habits and more.

The second day will be topped by J Balvin, who will be joined by Peggy Gou, Bibi, Henry Moodie, Tiger JK & Yoon Mi Rae, Forceparkbois, Talitha, Capt’n Trips and the Kid and more. Tickets for the festival go on sale at 11 a.m. on Friday (May 10) here.

Future Sound Asia’s director of entertainment, Wan Alman, spoke to the NME about the event’s return, declining to comment on The 1975 due to ongoing legal action against the group while emphasizing that the festival is not banned and will return this year. “To be honest, this year has really been one of the most challenging festivals to plan – and not for the reasons you might think. It’s not really anything to do with what happened last year, but this year has been an especially challenging time for festivals around the world in general,” Alman said, citing the cancellation of Australia’s Splendour in the Grass and what he claimed were lineup backlashes facing other festivals.

“It’s been really tough booking acts for festivals all around the world. Not everyone will get a great line-up like Coachella or Splendour, and when you don’t get a great line-up, people don’t buy tickets,” he added. “I think a major cause of this is that artist fees have skyrocketed. I think it’s going to be unsustainable but it’s just getting higher and higher every year.”

Despite cancelling the second and third days of last year’s event over Healy’s comments, Alman said the Malaysian government was “quite supportive” of this year’s return. “They want to work with us hand-in-hand to make sure that that sort of thing doesn’t happen again and that the live music industry and the festival industry isn’t adversely affected by what happened,” he said. The festival has been working with local authorities to come up with a standard operating procedure to deal with a similar incident in the future.

And though he said the 1975 dust-up did not inform their booking choices this year, Alman stressed that the decade-old festival did more due diligence this time to make sure the acts they slotted were “not controversial.” That said, event organizers do have a “kill switch” they can enact that immediately cuts off audio, video and stage lighting should there be another incident, something Alman called “the very last resort.”

See the full lineup for the 2024 Good Vibes festival below.

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