Keith Urban Issues Statement on Alleged Boston Concert Rape

American Idol judge and country star, Keith Urban, had remained silent as details began to emerge in the wake of his Saturday concert at the XFinity Center in Mansfield MA.

First, it was reported that a drunk and rowdy crowd resulted in dozens of arrests, compelling the local police to call reinforcements in from neighboring towns to manage the chaos.

Then, on Wednesday, news broke that an 18 year old man allegedly raped a 17 year old girl on the concert shed’s lawn area, as onlookers took photos and videos. Mercifully, a concerned female concert goer intervened, pulling the man off his alleged victim. The police had to use eyewitness accounts to track the man down before they arrested him.

Read More: Boston Man Arrested for Alleged Rape During Keith Urban Concert

Now, Keith posted a brief message on his website today concerning the weekend’s unfortunate events.

My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected. This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows.

It’s not his fault, but he must feel awful nonetheless.

  • Sue tiedemann

    I am always shocked when something like this happens and hear that the people rather take pictures and videos rather than help the victim.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    I’m horrified.

  • Chris

    What in the world??? People just stood there and took pics of a rape?

    The sense of community has gone straight to hell.

    Poor girl.

  • lkingcorn

    They apparently thought they were taking pictures of two people having sex. I’m getting too old for this kind of crap. What’s wrong with people?

  • Goodvibes27

    I tend to think people didn’t realize what they were witnessing. Maybe they thought it was two consenting adults just being inappropriate. I know I would have trouble wrapping my head around the realization that someone was committing rape-in the open, at a concert

  • HKfan

    They probably just thought it was 2 drunken teenagers getting carried away and having sex in public…..especially if there was no crying/yelling/struggling to alert them, maybe it took them a while to realise what was happening.
    still awful though.

  • Tess Herself

    I hate that the media condemns an entertainer “by association” when something like this happens. It isn’t like Keith taunted the crowd or the perpetrator…but he gets the flak and the headlines of “wrong doing” none the less. And why should anyone expect him to make a statement…and why should the statement become more media fodder. It’s all so nauseating.

  • babyspock

    Poor Keith. What sucky journalists, should just said these incidents occurred at some vague concert. In fact, why not leave out all the details of the incidents and just call them lewd behaviors.

  • standtotheright

    Because journalism is supposed to be a public service (regardless of how often it actually lives up to it), and “a major country concert saw several alcohol-related issues and ‘lewd behaviors'” doesn’t give potential future attendees important information:

    People are getting so drunk at Urban’s Live-Nation sponsored shows that some are hospitalized, and some attendees are so callous/clueless that they’ll video a rape in progress rather than step in to help.

    If I were a regular country music concert-goer (I do attend shows, but not usually on the Live Nation package), would I want to know these things? You betcha.

  • standtotheright

    He signed a contract with Live Nation that apparently didn’t stipulate sufficient security or vendor controls. That doesn’t make him responsible, but it would make me think less of him if he didn’t express regrets about the situation (and then privately turn to LN and their event staff and demand changes in how they run their venues).

  • standtotheright

    After Steubenville, I don’t think anyone should be surprised by what people are willing to do in public, but that’s just me.

  • girlygirl

    I don’t see anyone blaming Keith. But it is a journalist’s job to report on incidents like this. Why should it be all vague and anonymous? Now that Keith Urban is aware of what happened, maybe he will work with the venues to improve security, which in turn might make for a safer concert-going experience. And if you call it Lewd behavior, won’t the general public just assume it was general drunkeness and stupidity rather than an actual crime being committed? I think the public needs to be aware of exactly what happened. Otherwise it is likely to happen again and again.

  • Tess Herself

    Is the “contract” between Live Nation and Keith public knowledge to the point that it is definitive that Keith was well aware of the potential risks he was facing and that the drunken and lewd behavior of the audience was forseeable? The venue and it’s staff may certainly be held liable but I just don’t think that the headliner was in anyway remiss in his actions. That is putting the “blame” on the deep pockets…something that runs rife through the american system of accountability. Maybe concert goers should be held responsible for their own miserable actions…but then the “little guy” is never at fault as far as I can see.

  • girlygirl

    I’ve seen reports that this type of behavior has been happening at large country concerts for awhile now. In fact in the original article, the police chief (I think) commented about how they have had trouble with crowds at country concerts before. (obviously, this type of behavior can happen at non-country concerts, as well)

    Obviously, something has to change. Maybe they need to find a way to regulate alcohol sales at these shows. Maybe they need to hire way more security. And yes, in the end, the people attending the shows are responsible for their own behavior. But If the artists speak up, maybe, just maybe, that will help lead to the changes needed so that you can still have a good time at these concerts but there will be far less chance of a crime like this occurring.

  • bridgette12

    You can bet I would want to know. Dozens of arrest and the rape of a 17 year old girl is not something you can ignore or pretend that it didn’t happen.

  • bridgette12

    Poor Keith? I don’t feel sorry for him. What about the girl that was raped! That journalist did his job and reported what happened, so people can be aware at what’s happening at some concerts.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    why not leave out all the details of the incidents and just call them lewd behaviors.

    Because, that actually would be “sucky journalism.”

  • babyspock

    Really people. Look who I’m replying to.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    You need a sarcasm emoticon, or something.

  • babyspock

    Do i really need to spell it out. Good journalism does not equal leaving out the facts.

  • Lastwaltz

    That’s right, girlygirl, and the Boston area had another night of incidents a few years ago at a country music fest. No reason they shouldn’t have been better prepared, given that history.

  • Anna106

    At the recent OAR/P2 concert at Chastain Park in Atl, people were upset that OAR did not allow coolers to be brought inside the venue. Since Chastain is an outdoor venue, people normally bring in full coolers of food & booze. Then this story broke about the alcohol abuse at the Urban concert… it kind of made me respect OAR a little more.

  • wordnerdarchie

    Male country artists in general (not Keith in particular) seem to be encouraging drunken behavior by their lyrics. Isn’t it all about drinking & partying, an womanizing? Maybe it’s time for bro-country to go away.

  • chillj

    I live in Mansfield and was horrified last year at the town’s approach to kids who died of drug overdoses after the concert. The approach was that there was no approach. The town makes money from the venue, which, as far as I am concerned, should be shut down until and unless they can get it under control. It looked better this year with the police chief’s retirement (he was also paid by the venue). But it isn’t.

    I watched a town meeting last year where the police chief maintained they could not control alcohol and drugs because they could not check cars prior to admission: the traffic would wind down and on to a major highway. It probably would, but that is no good excuse. Kids from the venue also scare the bloody bejeebers out of nearby residents. This alleged rape is just horrifying – and attending to concert goers diverts ambulances and police from any other medical emergencies in the area. Many were out for the Urban concert and people were taken to hospitals.

    I don’t know the upshot of the alleged rape: the papers ran the story but then stopped short. This story doesn’t matter: the police maintain they can not contain the drunken debauchery at the venue. Well, concert venues have had to deal with that for fifty or sixty years and if they can’t handle it, they need to stop the concerts. There is simply no excuse any more. There was no excuse a year ago.

    There have been problems at a variety of Boston concert venues. I think too many politicians make too much money off them. There is a problem.

  • chillj

    This is not just a country matter; it is a concert matter. There have been troubles at venues in the Boston area and the Comcast venue for a long time.

  • chillj

    It isn’t the alcohol sales: it is the booze brought in and/or consumed before concerts. (See comment below, the police maintain they can not effectively prohibit alcohol and drugs being brought into the venue.) This is not an unusual problem for this venue. It is a standard problem for the venue: there was just more trouble with this concert. Gillette stadium next door had a problem with the behaviors at country concerts and, I think, tailgating, but cleaned it up.

  • chillj

    Really. Lewd behaviors is something of an understatement.

  • Tess Herself

    I think it is pretty irresponsible to condemn an entire genre of Artists because a few fans have no respect for anyone. Irresponsible behavior at concerts has been going on for generations…leading me to believe that we have a serious breakdown in personal responsibility that cannot be lain down at the hands of musicians who are working for a living. Lyrics are not the cause of adolescent behavior…and censorship is far from the answer to the problem. Again, I am aghast at peeps laying the blame where it most certainly does not lie. Country music is not to blame, country artists are not to blame…society, yep I will lay it on their doorstep for continuing to raise generations of self-centered dweebs.

  • Tess Herself

    Coolers aren’t allowed in lots of venues because the venue wants to sell liquor and the promoter often gets a cut. Nothing moral about the issue.

  • wordnerdarchie

    So if the peeps are irresponsible, let’s just ban what appears to be the cause of their irresponsibility – alcohol. That’s the argument used against a host of other causes of bad behavior. But that won’t happen, cause it makes too much money for the venues/promoters and artists (if they get a cut of the take). All I said above, is that if our society, including country artists, stop glorifying the drink/party culture, things might improve.

  • standtotheright

    I wish it were the case that people generally didn’t use such terms seriously. But a brief crawl around the internet makes it clear that’s *not* the case.

  • standtotheright

    There is a major concert venue in my area that causes huge traffic bottlenecks but they have situated the entrance gate in such a way that cars drive for a while on local roads before entering. If this is such an issue for this venue, then maybe they need to reroute the approach to keep it off the highway.

  • Lastwaltz

    You’re at ground zero, chillj. No excuses, you’re right. On another note, I hope the authorities get it together, because my dream retirement job is to work at that venue during concert season : )

  • Tess Herself

    What is wrong with a drink/party culture in the hands of responsible adults? Does everyone that drinks and or parties become a target because of the irresponsibility of a few?

  • Sassycatz

    I grew up outside of Philly and, during a stretch of time that’s become “legendary,” Eagles football fans — as well as Phillies fans and others — were so unruly at games, that the city and team set up a courthouse and holding cells in the bowels of Vets (Veterans) Stadium.

    Here’s an archived article about the situation published by the NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/24/us/fans-who-d-rather-not-be-in-philadelphia.html

    Since that time, Vets Stadium has been demolished. A new stadium was built, with a better security system, called Lincoln Financial Field, and — I think — the fans have tamed down a good deal. So, there’s no longer a need for the “penal system in the park.” LOL!

    Here’s a link that briefly discusses the changed environment:
    http://securitysolutions.com/news/security_security_success_philly/

    What’s this got to do with our topic? Well, it makes one wonder if these concert venues that have developed these “rowdy traditions” might benefit from jail cells, a courtroom, and judge right there on site. Even if it doesn’t prevent these a$$es from acting like imbeciles at least they can be hauled off before things get out of hand and immediately dealt with. Of course, that would be a temporary solution until the venue found a way to ramp up it’s security. Otherwise — if it were up to me — I’d boycott.

  • chillj

    They have a second route to that venue like that; it winds thru the town of Norton. (There are actually several different routes that can be taken. I live on one of them.) They thought that would be worse. Xfinity causes traffic bottlenecks normally on the highway. I thought it was an excuse, actually, because there is an outlet mall down the way that causes immense logjams and there are no complaints. My impression is that the town just likes the money and the police overtime – I mean, Comcast actually paid the police chief. I wondered last year what they were going to do when a shoot-out occurred at that venue and it is quite possible. I would not let my child go there and I do not think the town has been any where near responsible enough. They need to check cars for contraband: if kids even thought they were doing that, no one would be bringing it in. And that is the problem, not the sales inside.

  • wordnerdarchie

    Bingo! (In regards to another topic – gun control). ;) I love playing devil’s advocate lol.

  • chillj

    I truly think it is going to take a tragedy, a big one. It has cleaned up some, but I was just appalled at the attitude of the town meeting. Kids died. They will get it together when it stops being profitable and right now a lot of people are making money. Retirees do work there during the season: you might want to bring mace.

  • wordnerdarchie

    Hmm, I like that on site jail/penal system.

  • chillj

    The paddy wagons are out on Comcast concert nights in Mansfield. Foxboro, right next door, had a problem. I think with stadiums there is a tailgating thing that carries over into concerts. But it has become kind of ridiculous. If there was a strict no alcohol/drug policy, concerts would clean right up, but you have to check for that.

  • chillj

    Well, if the Mansfield police chief’s description was accurate, there is a big problem with the attendees and their parents. Apparently these kids come loaded with money. I mean loaded. And loaded with other stuff. I get the impression the whole point is to blow off steam and spend and drink and dope. The money must come from the parents, even if the attitude doesn’t. The chief made it sound like attendees were rich over-privileged kids with too much cash, time and too little to do.

  • chillj

    Kids get drunk before the concert, especially if they are under age. This doesn’t seem difficult to discourage. Arrest ‘em and jail ‘em. The word gets around.

  • chillj

    I think pressure from the performers would actually help a lot. The venue needs pressure from everyone who can give it.

  • HKfan

    How can a contract of any kind foresee how much alcohol some people were going to drink???

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Out here in the Wild West, I’ve been to venues that won’t serve people who appear to be drunk. It’s not an uncommon policy.

  • Anna106

    Yes, I realize that venues wants to sell liquor/food, but Chastain has long had the policy of allowing outside coolers…it would be interesting to know why OAR would not allow it.

  • Tess Herself

    If I remember correctly alcohol is allowed at sporting events, car races, concerts, amusement parks, disneyland, universal studios. It is sold at national parks, golf courses, even at some movies and brews venues. I’m glad I live in a country where little gestapoettes don’t control what I eat or drink and gives me the benefit of the doubt that I know my limits. The “antics” and irresponsiblity of a few (and the ones receiving headlines) aren’t the norm….but then a moral agenda tends to claim that everyone who likes a beer are the cause of every problem and that the problem would be easily solved by eliminating alcohol and bring back prohibition. Didn’t work then, won’t work now.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    If I remember correctly alcohol is allowed at sporting events, car races, concerts, amusement parks,

    Not necessarily without limits and restrictions.

    Salt River Fields (spring training) doesn’t allow people to bring in coolers, nor tail-gating in the parking lot, and cuts off alcohol service a couple innings before the game ends.

    US Airways Center and Chase Field search people coming in, so you can’t bring alcohol in. I don’t remember when their alcohol cut-off is, but sales do end before events end.

    The outdoor festivals at Tempe Town Lake don’t allow coolers or ANY outside beverages other than one bottle of water. At festivals at Heritage Square, you can’t take alcohol outside the beer gardens.

    It’s very common at local venues to have to have ID approved and be given a wristband in advance in order to buy drinks, and have to stay in a designated drinking area that is separated from where minors are. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues.

    Under Arizona state law, it’s illegal to sell alcohol to a person who appears to be intoxicated, which would explain why I’ve seen venues cut people off.

  • Bugme Nomor

    The police can’t legally search every vehicle.

    “The Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure generally makes arbitrary police car searches illegal. If the police search your car without a warrant, your permission, or a valid reason, they are violating your constitutional rights. Nevertheless, police can search a car without a warrant in a number of circumstances.

    …The Supreme Court has ruled that warrantless police conduct may comply with the Fourth Amendment, so long as it is reasonable under the circumstances.

    So, when can police search your car? Generally, under the following circumstances:

    You have given the officer consent

    The officer has probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in your vehicle

    The officer reasonably believes a search is necessary for their own protection (a hidden weapon, for example)

    You have been arrested and the search is related to that arrest (such as a search for illegal drugs)

    Automobiles may be stopped if an officer possesses a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the motorist has violated a traffic law. If the reason for the stop is a minor traffic offense like speeding, the officer likely isn’t permitted to search your car without more reason.”

    findlaw.com

  • chillj

    I’m going to guess the police can search your car on private property if it is a condition of remaining on that property.

  • wordnerdarchie

    I agree. Public highways vs. private concert venues are different. I would think that if you need all bags/personal possessions checked before entering a football stadium similar restrictions apply to entering a concert venue.

  • Tess Herself

    Having been to all the venues you’ve listed I can say I have seen my fair share of drunk, intoxicated, and high individuals at all of them. Again, coolers aren’t the issue, people are. I applaud venues that control and are security minded but until people are raised to respect others and their space this type of behavior will continue, unabated.

  • standtotheright

    No, the behavior will continue, but indeed abated. The more controls the venue has, the harder people have to work to circumvent those limits. So fewer people will. It’s not rocket science.

  • Happyhexer

    Although there are certain constraints (there must be a policy in place and those conducting the search cannot have unbridled discretion), police can conduct administrative sobriety checkpoints. See, e.g., Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 110 S. Ct. 2481 (1990) (United States Supreme Court held that a properly conducted sobriety checkpoint does not require probable cause or constitute an unreasonable search and seizure).

    Generally, the automobile exception to the warrant requirement requires reasonable suspicion to pull over a car (e.g., a traffic offense observed by a police officer) and probable cause to search the vehicle (contraband in plain sight, e.g.), but administrative sobriety checkpoints are different.