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46 at country music show treated for alcohol-related illnesses

Emergency responders treated 46 people suffering from alcohol-related illnesses at a Keith Urban concert in Mansfield Saturday night, taking 22 of them to local hospitals, officials said.

In a joint statement Sunday afternoon, the Mansfield police and fire departments said ambulances from five surrounding towns were called to the Xfinity Center to help with the surge of sick concertgoers over a three-hour span.

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Officers took more than 50 people into protective custody for apparent intoxication, police said, and some are facing charges for alcohol-related issues.

It was not immediately clear how many concertgoers were treated or held overall; authorities said there was some overlap in the people seen by police and fire officials.

Jacqueline Peterson, a spokeswoman for Live Nation, which runs the Xfinity Center, said the illnesses were not serious. “Last night we hosted more than 18,000 country music fans in Mansfield. Our team works hard to offer a great concert experience . . . and an overwhelming majority of fans enjoyed the concert,” Peterson said in a statement.

The show was one of Urban’s first performances on his “Raise ’Em Up” tour. A spokesman for Urban declined to comment.

Alcohol-fueled trouble is not unprecedented at country music shows in the Bay State.

More than 100 people were charged, many with underage possession, at a festival in Foxborough in 2009.

At the same festival in 2012, more than 500 people were arrested or held by police, and authorities said some were so drunk that their blood alcohol levels were three times the legal limit.

Also in 2012, two people died at an electronic dance show in Mansfield, prompting the police chief to say officers were struggling to handle a rise in drinking and drug abuse at concerts.

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary.sampson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZackSampson.
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