Bob Dylan, the popular counterculture hero and protest singer of the 1960s, has been banned from performing in China. The country’s ministry of culture feels that the singer still poses a threat to the Chinese people, Popeater.com reported on April 5, and deemed him unfit to perform his scheduled concerts in Shanghai and Beijing this spring. Dylan has since canceled the remainder of his eastern Asian tour.
The 68-year-old singer still performs about 100 concerts per year, but has never sung in China before. Jeffrey Wu, who works for the Taiwan-based promoters Brokers Brothers Herald, told The Guardian that “The chance to play in China was the main attraction for him. When that fell through, everything else was called off.”
The New York Times speculated that the ban came after Dylan chanted “Tibet! Tibet!” after he performed ‘Declare Independence’ during a 2008 concert. In response to the chant, China imposed rules on concerts, saying that people who “…take part in activities that harm our nation’s sovereignty are firmly not allowed to perform…” Rolling Stone also reported that Dylan will instead kick off a European tour next month in Greece.
Written by: Karen Benardello