Bob Dylan fans don’t have to spend $25 for a ticket to hear the rock ‘n’ roll legend sing next week.
Just about any berm in downtown Spokane’s Riverfront Park will put them within earshot of Dylan’s performance, scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Of course, some places will be better than others. The grassy area by the clock tower promises to be a great spot.
Just don’t expect to see the weather-beaten 54-year-old.
Chain-link fences will surround the Lilac Bowl’s perimeter, as well as 5,000 paying concertgoers.
Security will be impenetrable. For a man who was the voice of a protest generation, Dylan has ultra-strict rules while he sings: No cameras. No booze. No lawn chairs. No re-entry.
Some of the rules apply to himself. No breaks. No opening act.
Hal McGlathery, the park’s manager, said the show is expected to last about two hours.
“I don’t know if anyone can control Bob Dylan, though,” McGlathery chuckled. “He may get out here and get inspired or something and sing forever.”
That’s just what his local fans are hoping for. They’ve bought up most of the tickets, including at least 250 children’s seats at $10 apiece.
Naturally, they’re hoping to spend an evening with memories. The songs they want to hear the most are Dylan’s earliest tunes. His classics.
The shadowy Dylan, though, has been known to sometimes not deliver those requests during concerts. Last year he told Newsweek magazine “People are mainlining nostalgia like it was morphine. I don’t want to be a drug dealer.”
Who knows what he’ll deal Spokane?
Promoters just hope it’s good stuff. They’re banking on Dylan’s draw to breathe life into Riverfront Park’s concert future. After all, he chose the Lilac Bowl over the much bigger Gorge at George and the smaller but simpler Opera House, where he would have charged $50 a ticket.
“He’s the biggest name we’ve ever had here,” said Dale Larsen, Riverfront Park’s event coordinator. “Of course we want him to be happy.”