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Bob Dylan

Dylan to perform in Vietnam for the first time - but ticket prices equal a month's wages

Bob Dylan has announced he will play in Vietnam for the first time ever – but, with tickets priced at just over the average monthly minimum wage, how many locals will be able to go?

AMERICAN SINGER Bob Dylan will perform in Vietnam for the first time next month, his promoter has confirmed.

Dylan, well-known for his anti-war songs during the Vietnam War, will appear at an 8,000-plus-capacity university stadium in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City on 10 April, said Rod Quinton, general manager of Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Sound System.

“We are bringing him here because Bob Dylan is a very important legend of music and we think it’s important that Vietnamese people, particularly the younger generation, are exposed to his legacy and what he’s done for music,” Quinton said.

Dylan is popular in Vietnam because of his anti-war songs. His 1960s songs “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin” were inspirations for the American civil rights and anti-war movements.

Organisers are expecting to sell all of the 8,250 tickets, Quinton said, adding they were expecting a mixed crowd of Vietnamese and foreigners of all ages.

However, with general admission tickets priced at 900,000 dong (€30) – slightly higher than Vietnam’s monthly minimum wage – it is questionable how may local fans will actually be able to attend. It is even more unlikely that Vietnamese fans will be able to buy “VIP tickets” for the gig, which will go on sale for 2.5 million dong (€85) – a price that will cut out all but the most wealthy of the native market.

Quinton said they were currently only taking ticket reservations because they were still working out details with the tax department.

Vietnam’s trip has been added to Dylan’s Asia tour during which he will also perform in China for the first time.

Vuong Duy Bien, director of the Art Performances Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the ministry had granted permission for Dylan to perform in Vietnam.

Additional reporting by AP