Dylan Cancellation: In the Name of Greed or is it Harmony?

I remember a couple of months ago when news of Bob Dylan playing a couple of shows in China surfaced on various news channels. The reaction back then was one of skepticism on my side due to the huge number of cancellations and disappointments that music lovers in the Mainland have been subjected to… I wasn’t about to lose any sleep over a cancellation but i’d be ecstatic if His Bob-ness actually came.

Blowing in the Wind

Almost immediately after the show’s announcements, The Beijinger published this well researched piece with quotes from what I deem to be reliable sources:

I mean, how money-driven can you be? Don’t they know about the international standard of maximum 15% for agent fees? 400,000 dollars for the 8,000 seated Shanghai Grand Stage, it’s impossible to make the money back by selling tickets.

so, let’s summarize what we got:

* 2 months ago, right after the initial announcement, reports of greed getting in the way of the show were rampant.
* The Beijing and Shanghai dates were never ever confirmed or listed on Bob Dylan’s official site
* Just as the dates were looming, the promoters started issuing press releases blaming the good folks over at Chinese Ministry of Culture.

uhm.. thanks but no thanks! I’m not buying this one! Either way, seems to me that the promoters dropped the ball on this issue: A gig such a Dylan should be planned way ahead of time and marketed as such but we’ve never seen an official announcement, posters, tickets or any such a thing!

Come on, the shows were tentatively scheduled for April 4 (Beijing) & April 6 (Shanghai) and it’s only on said dates that word come out of the so-called cancellation?

Something Stinks in Here

It’s way way too easy to blame the authorities and say that they didn’t get a permission and thus everything is called off. A respectable promoter should be able to do their homework ahead of time and plan those things appropriately.

With these events, I’m much more likely to believe the greed theory on this one! Of course, TIFC, so who really knows?