- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Bob Dylan called off his upcoming U.S. tour on Tuesday, making the legendary musician among the latest major artists to cancel shows because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the interest of public health and safety and after many attempts to try and reschedule these shows for a workable timeframe this year, it is with deep regret that we announce the US Bob Dylan shows originally scheduled for June/July are cancelled,” said a statement released by the singer.

“We hope to be back out on the road at the earliest possible time once we are confident that it is safe for both fans and concert staff,” the statement said.

Mr. Dylan, 78, announced the tour dates in early March, including two dozen performances culminating in a summer concert held near the site of the famed Woodstock festival in 1969.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was aware of fewer than 1,000 domestic cases of COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the coronavirus, when Mr. Dylan announced the tour dates. That number has exceeded more than 1.3 million in the two months since, with the number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassing 80,000 this week, according to the CDC’s latest figures, compared to being in the double digits when the dates were announced.

Countless concerts and music festivals have been canceled or postponed in the months since the COVID-19 outbreak started and public health officials subsequently began urging people to practice social distancing to slow the disease’s spread.

The president of concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment recently indicated the company would not put on shows until it was safe to do so, meanwhile.

“First and foremost, we will let the facts and science tell us when we should start putting on concerts again,” Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s president and chief executive officer, said last week. “We are working with the government at the federal and state levels in the U.S. and across all countries, building plans that fit within reopening phases for each specific market. In the meantime, we have fortified our balance sheet to have the resources to ramp up quickly when the time is right.”

Mr. Dylan’s scrapped tour had been slated to begin June 4 in Bend, Oregon, and end more than a month later in Bethel Woods, New York, where the original Woodstock festival was held. The statement shared by the singer said ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for refund information.

He still plans to release his next record, “Rough and Rowdy Way,” his first new album of original music in eight years, on June 19.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide