Boston's Keytar Bear Vows to Play Again After Violent Assault

Three teens could face hate crime charges after an altercation with the beloved street performer.
June 20, 2017, 4:27pm
Image via We Love Keytar Bear's Facebook page

After a group of teens allegedly beat up legendary Boston street performer Keytar Bear last weekend, hundreds of fans across the city have donated to a fundraiser encouraging him to get back out there, NBC Boston reports.

Keytar Bear—who's become famous for donning a full bear suit and playing a keytar on the streets of Boston—was allegedly pounced on by a group of teens from New Hampshire last Saturday, according to police. The punks apparently ripped off his big, goofy mask, pummeled him, and yelled racial slurs before taking off with the cash he'd made busking. The kids were later charged with assault, battery, and disorderly conduct, and prosecutors are now investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, the Associated Press reports.

Not long after the alleged attack, a local fan started a GoFundMe for Keytar Bear, encouraging folks to donate toward a new speaker, as his old one was damaged during the incident. So far, the campaign's raised more than $7,000.

"We all love you," one fan wrote on the crowdfunding page. "In a city that's a little starved for wacky, fun, artsy, public displays, you're much more valuable than you might know."

Over the years, Keytar Bear has become a kind of unofficial mascot for Boston's weird side. He usually can be found in bustling hubs across the city—near Harvard, outside Fenway, in front of Faneuil Hall—and no matter the weather (typically shitty), the street performer is always doin' his thing.

While some were initially uncertain "if or when" Keytar Bear would return to the streets following the violent incident, the performer announced on Facebook Monday that he'd be back to wiggling around in his suit soon.

"Glad for the encouragement," he wrote. "I don't know what the mood is [in] Boston right now but, after sitting home watching Johnny Mathis with grandma, I'm in the mood to play music again."