Dylan Days 2012 begins in Bob’s hometown

Dylan Days 2012 kicks off Thursday in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing. I’ve been involved with Dylan Days since 2001 but this is the first year I’ve stepped back a bit from some of the press work. I’ll be emceeing the literary event on Friday. Many of the press and social media activities have been coordinated by Chris Skoyles, our friend from Manchester, England, a British music writer and concert promoter. He put together this press release for us this year.

If you’re in the area, consider stopping by.

Hibbing’s Dylan Days 2012 honors ‘50 years of Bob’

HIBBING, Minnesota – Artists, musicians, writers and fans from across the globe are heading for Hibbing as Dylan Days, the grassroots arts festival celebrating one of the city’s most famous sons, rolls around for the eleventh year running.

2012 marks fifty years since the man once known as Robert Zimmerman first released his debut album, Bob Dylan. Some 600 compositions, 34 studio albums and a never-ending string of tour dates later, Dylan’s significant impact on American culture was recognized earlier this spring with the announcement that the Duluth native and Hibbing alumnus would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the White House.

Back in Hibbing, that cultural impact, not to mention the creativity Dylan’s work has inspired in generations of musicians, wordsmiths and visual artists, will once again be celebrated at Dylan Days.

With many of the activities and contests which have made the event one of the Iron Range’s most popular grassroots festivals returning, Dylan Days 2012 begins on Thursday May 24th with a formal reception at the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce, followed by live music from Duluth-based outfit The Adjustments.

Other highlights over the four-day festival include the return of the famous Dylan Days singer-songwriter contest, in which musicians from all over the world pay tribute to the event’s namesake by performing one Dylan cover alongside one original piece, plus the ever-popular Bobby Zimmerman Bus Tour, taking in many of the venues and places of interest which shaped the childhood of a young Robert Zimmerman.

“The idea behind Dylan Days is to keep the arts alive in Hibbing and celebrate that creative spirit that Dylan himself found here and took out with him into the world to succeed,” said Dylan Days co-founder and proprietor of Zimmy’s, the Dylan-themed bar and restaurant on East Howard St.

“The people who come here, whether they’re local residents or Dylan fans from as far away as Australia and England, they come here to meet with like-minded people and share their passions and creativity.

“It’s those people who feel a certain connection, to one another and to Hibbing, as though there’s something in the atmosphere that brings them together, and it’s that intangible connection they feel that helps them fall in love with Hibbing’s charm and that makes them reach the end of their stay with us saying they never want to leave Hibbing.”

Dylan Days 2012 runs from Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27. For more information visit www.dylandays.org.

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Dylan Days Schedule 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012 (Day 1)

Dylan Days Welcome Reception: 5-7 pm at Zimmy’s, followed by live music from “The Adjustments” a Duluth, MN based folk-rock blues-funk band playing until midnight.

Friday, May 25, 2012 (Day 2)

Dylan Days Literary Showcase: 3-4 pm at Hibbing Memorial Building Little Theater, featuring winners of the B.J. Rolfzen Creative Writing Contest.

Dylan Days Singer/Songwriter Contest, Friday Division: 7 pm-midnight at Zimmy’s. Competitors from all over the world sing one Dylan song and one original. Gary Ivan from New York returns as our emcee for the 11th consecutive year. Our oldest, most popular tradition.

Saturday, May 26, 2012 (Day 3)

Dylan Days Bus Tour: 10:30 am-2:30 pm departing from Zimmy’s, the popular interpretive, interactive tour of Hibbing showing the town Dylan knew, his potential influences, along with the town today through storytelling and history. Cost $25.

Dylan Days 2012 U.S. Postal Cancellation: 2-4 pm at Zimmy’s. A creative, unique postal cancellation stamp featuring a limited edition Dylan Days image that may be used on memorabilia or actual mail.

Glass Blowing Demonstration: 2-4 pm at Zimmy’s, featuring Cherry Glass, a northern Minnesota family owned business that makes a variety of functional and non-functional art.

Dylan Days Singer/Songwriter Contest, Saturday Division: 4-7 pm at Zimmy’s. Competitors from all over the world sing one Dylan song and one original. The contest is so popular we need two divisions in order to accommodate the number of participants!!

Murzik: 8 pm-midnight at Zimmy’s, a Minneapolis based folk/neofolk band that mixes old eastern European folk and midwest Americana sounds together to form a sound which they coined as Dark Folk. Murzik claims its influences from an eclectic compilation of sources, which include artists such as Vladimir Vysotsky, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Édith Piaf. Traces of these influences can be heard in Murziks romanticized soundscapes and dark poetic lyrics.

Sunday, May 27, 2012 (Day 4)

Dylan Days Farewell Brunch: 10 am-noon at Zimmy’s, featuring a local Ojibwe blessing by Sharon Williams and a spiritual presentation by Daniel Botkin of East Peoria, Illinois, a hardcore Bob Dylan fan since the early 1960s, when he was 15 years old. This year, May 27 happens to be Shavuot, a Jewish holiday, and Pentecost, a Christian holiday. Daniel leads a Jewish-Christian congregation in Peoria, so this makes him an ideal speaker for this year’s farewell brunch. The name of Daniel’s congregation is Gates of Eden, which also happens to be the title of a Bob Dylan song. Daniel also publishes a bimonthly magazine called Gates of Eden, and has two art galleries called Gates of Eden, one in East Peoria and one in Pontiac, Illinois. The Gates of Eden Gallery in Peoria has twice sponsored “Visions of Johanna,” a national group exhibition that features Dylan-inspired visual artwork by artists from across the nation. Cost $11.

Additional live events may be scheduled along with other unique experiences for the visitors who join us from all over the world each year. Most events are free with the purchase of the Dylan Days pin. Events are subject to minor schedule changes until two weeks prior to the event. For more information e-mail info@dylandays.org.

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