American music legend Bob Dylan is scheduled to perform in Kingston in June. The concert is being presented by the Bardavon and the host, The Hutton Brickyards, marking the first performance at a new concert venue along the waterfront.
The June 24 Bob Dylan concert will be the first at The Hutton Brickyards. The riverfront property will continue this year to host Smorgasburg Upstate, a weekend marketplace of food and other vendors. Smorgasburg also will offer food at the concert. Chris Silva is executive director of the Poughkeepsie-based Bardavon 1869 Opera House, which also owns and operates the Ulster Performing Arts Center, or UPAC, in Kingston. He says it’s amazing that the concert is working out, given how late in the planning stage the Bardavon tried to book an artist.
“It just so happened that Bob Dylan was in the midst of his process for planning a summer tour. It also so happened we recognized he had announced one date in Delaware in June, that it looked like he was starting on the East Coast. So we immediately contacted his manager and agent who we know because Dylan has worked at the Bardavon several times over the years,” Silva says. “He, in ’06 he rehearsed for several days prior to recording ‘Modern Times” down in the city and in ’07 he came back and rehearsed with the band for a European tour, and then he came back again in ‘12 and did the same thing, and almost did a gig with us that time but it just didn’t work out. And so we’ve been after him ever since to try and figure out how to do a show.”
While it will be his first concert in Kingston, Dylan, a former Woodstock resident who won the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, has performed elsewhere in the Hudson Valley — at Bethel Woods in Sullivan County and Dutchess Stadium, in Fishkill, just to name a few. As for Silva’s take on booking such a major artist:
“This is, Bob Dylan is, it’s Bob Dylan. There’s nobody for me that’s bigger than him,” Silva says.
“So what song, Chris, would be the song for Kingston,” Dunne asks.
“Whoa, ‘Things Have Changed’,” Silva answers.
“Things Have Changed” is from the film Wonder Boys and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001. Here’s Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, who hopes he’s the one introducing Dylan on stage.
“It’s wonderful. I think Bob’s really going to like Kingston,” says Noble. “And I think that he has a long history here in the Catskills.”
Silva says Bardavon will bring in 3,000 chairs and there will be standing room for 500 people. And there could be other summer concerts at The Brickyards.
“We’re trying. We’re working really hard right now to try to book at least one or two or maybe even three more shows down there but we don’t, it’s, like I said, it’s very, very late to be doing thing so we’re…” says Silva. “We have a couple things that we’re looking at that we’ve put offers out to. And we’re just kind of waiting to see if we can confirm them.”
Meanwhile, Noble says that, contrary to local press reports, there are no permit problems for the concert.
“All of this falls within the special event permit that already exists that goes through the end of next year, or the end of this year, through November,” says Noble. “So, we’re good with that and we don’t have any concerns with the permit.”
He says Hutton Brickyards, which once supplied bricks to New York City, does have other plans.
“They are continuing to come, and will be coming to the planning board in May because they want to do cool things on the site, including additional buildings and trails and walkways and all of that is going to take some additional approvals, but none of it related directly to just having the concert,” Noble says.
Tickets went on sale for June 24 Bob Dylan concert Thursday for Bardavon members. Tickets go on sale for the general public Saturday, if the concert does not sell out first.