Duluth wants a date with Dylan
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has made an offer to bring Bob Dylan back to his hometown for a concert on his 70th birthday. Dylan turns 70 on May 24. He hasn't committed to the date, but his representatives have expressed interest an...
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has made an offer to bring Bob Dylan back to his hometown for a concert on his 70th birthday.
Dylan turns 70 on May 24. He hasn't committed to the date, but his representatives have expressed interest and are negotiating with the DECC for a concert in the new Amsoil Arena.
Such a concert could be a big deal in the music world, city leaders say.
"They'd be able to sell out the Amsoil Arena two times over," said John Goldfine, president of ZMC Hotels and a distant relative of Dylan.
"Are you kidding? They'll be buying tickets to see Dylan in his hometown on or near his 70th birthday from New York and all over the world."
Mayor Don Ness got the ball rolling this spring when he realized Dylan's 70th birthday was just a year away.
"My role was to see the potential in working to bring Bob Dylan back to Duluth on his 70th birthday," Ness said. "I think there will be momentous interest in this milestone birthday, not only nationwide but worldwide as well."
Ness asked DECC Executive Director Dan Russell if there was anything Duluth could do to make Dylan's 70th birthday special.
What resulted was an invitation home. Russell said they made the invitation on Dylan's 69th birthday.
"(Duluth) being his hometown, it only made sense to put something together to see if we could bring him to Duluth on or near the date he turns 70," Russell said. "Dylan's people responded, initially asking if May 24th wasn't possible, could we make it a mutually agreed upon date in May of 2011."
Russell said the financial offer was "substantial, at or above Dylan's regular fee."
Russell said that when an offer is made, the artist and his management team look over the possibilities and come up with a tour plan.
"Ultimately it's up to Dylan as to where he wants to be geographically at the time," Russell said. "He might want to be in Europe at that time. Who knows?"
Dylan's representatives did not respond to News Tribune inquiries Friday.
Dylan has spent much of the past year on the road. He toured in the spring and summer in Italy, Spain and France. The last part of the year has been in the United States, wrapping up just after Thanksgiving in New York and Massachusetts.
If Dylan agrees to perform it will be his first concert here in more than a decade. His first concert ever in his hometown was Oct. 22, 1998, at the DECC Arena. He followed that on July 3, 1999, with an outdoor concert with Paul Simon at Bayfront Festival Park.
Concert seating capacity in Amsoil Arena, which opens Dec. 30, is 7,500-8,000 depending on the artist's requests.
Russell said the DECC could turn a profit on a Dylan show.
"When we do a self-promoted concert, we hope to make a dollar, but we also want the ticket prices to be reasonable," he said.
He said he expects an answer from Dylan's representatives in early 2011.