Bob Dylan cancels Asia tour

April 05, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Folk-rock music legend Bob Dylan has canceled the second half of his ongoing Asia tour after his plans to perform in Beijing and Shanghai were not approved by Chinese authorities, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Having wrapped up a 15-date tour of Japan and Korea last month, it's reported the 69-year-old star intended to perform in mainland China as part of a Southeast Asia tour, during which he would also play shows in Hong Kong and Taiwan. However, despite having shows lined up by local promoters, the Chinese Ministry of Culture is reported to not have been comfortable with Dylan's reputation as a counterculture icon and therefore nixed the events. It is often notoriously difficult for foreign artists to perform in China, because all shows must be approved by the Ministry of Culture, which is perceived to have conservative tastes when it comes to Western artistic expression. Jeffrey Wu, whose company planned Dylan's China shows, points to an infamous incident in Shanghai in 2008, when Icelandic singer Björk led an onstage chant that was highly critical of China's policies in Tibet. "What Björk did definitely made life very difficult for other performers," he said. "They [government officials] are very wary of what will be said by performers on stage now." And in related news, the Show of Peace concert scheduled for this spring in Beijing, which was to headline artists such as Jimmy Page, Joe Perry and the Black Eyed Peas, has been tentatively postponed to October amid venue difficulties.

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