Juno Award-winning country music star Dallas Smith has called out "disgusting" behaviour from some audience members at his recent performance in Dawson Creek, B.C., sparking controversy among his fans in northeast B.C.
"Tonight, I got to watch girls and guys punching, pulling hair, groping girls," he tweeted shortly after getting off-stage at a show he headlined at the Encana Events Centre.
"Disgusting Dawson Creek. Most fans were great. Others ruined it. Grow the [expletive] up."
Some of Smith's followers were upset at how his words might affect people's views of Dawson Creek.
"It disgusts me that someone would use their fame to shame an entire town for a few "fans" who may have not even been from Dawson Creek," wrote Emily Wheat.
Trevor Bolin, a city councillor for neighbouring Fort St. John, wrote, "Maybe don't blame an entire city for the actions of a very few."
I hope your proud of your tweet as our entire town is enveloped in your deeming us all disgusting. It disgusts me that someone would use their fame to shame an entire town for a few "fans" who may have not even been from Dawson Creek— @WheatEmily
Others, however, were pleased to see the musician use his platform to condemn what he viewed as inappropriate behaviour.
A fan who traveled from Grande Prairie, Alta., to see the show said she was also upset by the behaviour she saw at the concert.
"I had my hair pulled. Some random guy pulled my friend out of the crowd," she wrote in reply to criticisms.
"Did you get dragged out of the crowd by a random man? My best friend did."
He was an amazing performer! But some of the people in the pot acted atrociously! I had my hair pulled, some random guy pulled my friend out of the crowd. I had drinks spilled on me because a chick was tossing drinks at some dude.— @SmoQueed420
PEOPLE SUCK! @dallassmith rocked though🤘🏻
Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead said it was upsetting to see his city portrayed in a negative light.
"We have a great community with a great quality of life," he said.
When asked if he thought there were issues to be addressed at concerts, he said he didn't see any more problems in Dawson Creek than at shows he attended in other cities.
Bumstead said while he wasn't at Smith's show, he was concerned at how his tweets could affect Dawson Creek's reputation.
"Our staff do a great job," he said. "To me, this is about the reputation of our community being disgusting."
Encana Events Centre general manager Ryan MacIvor said his team was reviewing what had happened at the show.
"Last night's event was attended by some guests behaving badly," he said. "We apologize to anyone that was affected before our event staff removed them from the venue."
'Your town is beautiful. Now start holding those trying to ruin it accountable instead of being 'offended' by a guy clearly upset at watching it happen' - Dallas Smith
"We do agree with Mr. Smith's statement that most fans were great and we continue to work hard to provide our community and fans top-notch entertainment."
In 2012, a man died after being beaten at the venue in an altercation police said appeared to have started over a spilled beer.
The facility most recently hosted the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Though Smith was not available to speak with CBC, he tweeted out several responses to criticisms.
"Not one word from the mayor about how his towns [sic] citizens were treated when they just wanted to watch a show without getting molested and dragged by their hair," he wrote.
He also told critics he called out the behavior while on stage, as well as online.
In a separate note, he addressed people in Dawson Creek directly.
"Your town is beautiful. Now start holding those trying to ruin it accountable instead of being "offended" by a guy clearly upset at watching it happen," he wrote.
"As you were."
I'm a good person. I speak my mind. I stand up for myself. Go ahead and be offended. I'm okay with that. pic.twitter.com/59JKR7RbqT— @dallassmith
With files from Sarah Penton.
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