entertainment

Matty Healy vows to boycott festivals unless there's an equal balance of male, female and non-binary bands

The 1975 frontman and former Attitude cover star is an outspoken LGBTQ ally

2020-02-13

Words: Steve Brown

Matty Healy has vowed not to perform at festivals unless there is an equal balance of male, female and non-binary bands.

The 1975 frontman – and former Attitude cover star – made the pledge on Twitter after Reading and Leeds festival came under fire for the lack of female performers in the line-up.

Only 20 out of the 91 acts on the bill featured women with headliners including the likes of Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Rage Against the Machine.

But after a journalist tweeted Healy urging him to take a stand, the ‘Girls’ singer revealed he would only perform at festivals with a fair representation of male, female and non-binary performers.

He wrote: “Take this as me signing this contract - I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets.

"But from now I will and believe this is how male artists can be true allies.

"Point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world that place is vibeyyy.

"Let's not judge people and give the benefit of the doubt that people are going to start listening. I can feel the change!!"

Healy has been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community and the 1975 frontman took his fiight for sexual freedom global – risking arrest in the process – last year when he made a show of publicly kissing a male fan at a gig in Dubai.

The Brit Award-winning band’s frontman fearlessly flipped the bird at anti-LGBTQ laws in the United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

And while covering Attitude’s January 'Activists and Allies' issue, the singer recalled the moment that led to the headline-grabbing kiss.

“It was spontaneous,” he insists. “In the build-up to the show, I was given a check-list of stuff that I was ‘allowed’ to do, and I’m sitting in the dressing room, thinking: ‘Don’t fucking book me if you’re just gonna give me this list of demands’.

“I’m in this situation and I’m thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m taking money from a government I don’t agree with. What am I doing?’

“I have a 30ft Pride flag and, in every set, I do a song called ‘Loving Someone’, which has become a bit of an anthem for all our LGBTQ fans.

“I’m told that I can’t do that, so I said to my lighting guy, Darren: ‘We’re doing it. It’s happening. What are they going to do, arrest us?’

“One of the promoters said: ‘They will arrest you’. By this point, I was jetlagged, I didn’t have any weed, I was in the UAE and I was like, fuck this.”