Bob Dylan denies agreeing to censor Chinese gigs

Folk legend says he didn't allow government to pre-approve his set

Bob Dylan has denied that he allowed the Chinese government to censor his gigs in the country last month.

It had been widely reported that Dylan had submitted his setlist to the Chinese government before he played the shows in Beijing and Shanghai, but the folk legend has now said that was not the case. He did, however, say he submitted his setlists from his previous three months of gigging.

Writing on his official website,, he wrote: “As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There’s no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous three months.”

He added: “If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play.”

Dylan also took issue with reports suggesting he’d been banned from playing in China previously, writing: “First of all, we were never denied permission to play in China. This was all drummed up by a Chinese promoter who was trying to get me to come there after playing Japan and Korea. We had no intention of playing China at that time.”

He also denied reports that his concert in Beijing was poorly attended, writing: “According to Mojo, the concerts had a lot of empty seats. Not true. Out of 13,000 seats we sold about 12,000 of them, and the rest of the tickets were given away to orphanages.”