Rock legend Bob Dylan has been forced to cancel his upcoming Asian tour, as Chinese authorities didn’t authorize him to perform in China.
Dylan would have become “persona non grata” for the Asian giant, which also kept other high profile stars such as Rolling Stones, Björk, Oasis,Elton John or Harry Connick Jr. from performing in the country.
Jeffrey Wu of Taiwain-based promoters Brokers Brokers Herald revealed to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post that it was China’s Ministry of Culture the responsible for the final decision and that he disapproved Dylan’s ’60s counterculture anthems.
The cancellation of China’s concerts caused a domino effect towards the remaining Asian gigs: “With Beijing and China ruled out, it was not possible for him just to play concerts in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan,” Wu said. “The chance to play in China was the main attraction for him. When that fell through everything else was called off.”
Dylan just finished a 14-day concert tour in Japan and South Korea, and the icon expected to expand his concert series throughout China. However, the “democratic” decision made by the Chinese minister, who is also in charge of giving green light to Western artists to perform in the country, ended Dylan’s expectations.
Dylan will head to Greece on May 29, to continue his major European tour.