Bob Dylan Barred from Performing in China

Bob Dylan has become the latest artist to get a taste of China’s strict policy against foreign performers. Dylan cancelled several scheduled concerts in the country after the Chinese government refused to give him a permit to perform. Dylan was supposed to perform in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

According to Jeffrey Wu of the Taiwan-based Brokers Brothers Herald, which was promoting Dylan’s now-cancelled Asian Tour, the Chinese government has become cautious of foreign performers after Icelandic singer Bjork chanted “Tibet! Tibet! during a concert two years ago. Tibet, which has been under Chinese rule for almost 60 years, wants to break free from the mainland, a move opposed by Beijing.

Aside from the Beijing and Shanghai tour dates, Dylan’s scheduled performance in Hong Kong on April 8 has also been called off. Although the Chinese Ministry of Culture has yet to release an official explanation for the denial of the concert permit, tour organizers believe the rejection has something to do with Dylan’s reputation as a political activist.

(Photo from Flickr)