Jakarta – A day after causing LGBTQ controversy in Kuala Lumpur, British band The 1975 announced on Sunday that they canceled shows in Jakarta and Taiwan, where the band was scheduled to headline a three-day music festival called We The Fest in Jakarta on Sunday, as well as a standalone show in Taipei on Tuesday.
"The band never takes the decision to cancel a show lightly and has been eagerly looking forward to playing for fans in Jakarta and Taipei, but unfortunately, due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows," the band said in a statement on Sunday on the We The Fest Instagram page.
The announcement was greeted with mixed reactions, with some Indonesian fans lamenting the band's abrupt cancellation, while others were more than happy to see The 1975 cancel their show in Jakarta following band front man Matt Healy's controversy in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia's government banned the group from performing in Malaysia in the future and halted the Good Vibes music festival in Kuala Lumpur after cutting the band's set short on Friday because Healy kissed a bandmate on stage and criticized Malaysia's anti-LGBTQ laws.
In Indonesia, homosexuality is not illegal, except in Aceh province, which practices sharia law, but remains hugely frowned upon by the country's Muslim majority population.
Other LGBTQ-related events have also been canceled in Indonesia following objections from Islamic groups, Reuters reported.
Jakarta was initially set to host the ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week earlier this month, which would have seen LGBTQ rights activists gather from across Southeast Asia, but the event was canceled due to security concerns amid widespread protests from Muslim groups in the country.
In December, the United States called off a visit by its LGBTQ special envoy after an influential clerical body denounced the visit.
It was not immediately clear why The 1975 canceled their July 25 show in Taiwan, which has a proud reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2019, Reuters reported. (dds)