Chinese officials are in the process of reviewing an application from Bob Dylan to perform concerts there in April. The singer had planned to play gigs in Beijing and Shanghai last year, but the shows were canceled for reasons that are still unclear.
According to some accounts, the arrangements fell through due to a financial dispute with a Taiwanese promoter, but that promoter insists that the problem was actually that the Chinese Ministry of Culture had demanded that Dylan pledge not to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people during his shows.
The Chinese government is notorious for carefully scrutinizing Western artists and their work before allowing them to perform in the country. Dylan may be considered a dangerous figure to the Chinese government for his involvement in protest movements during the Sixties and his anti-war lyrics.
Even if these new proposed dates in China fall through, Dylan will still be heading out on an Asian tour in the spring. Concerts are scheduled in Hong Kong on April 12th and in Singapore on April 15th. There are also rumors that Dylan will perform in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 10th.
Bob Dylan's April Gig in China Held Up By Chinese Government [Billboard]