Skip to content

Bob Dylan Will Not Attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony, Says Swedish Academy

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Musician Bob Dylan performs onstage during The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Update (11/18): The Swedish Academy has released a statement regarding Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which usually takes place on December 7th. The academy wrote: “There is a chance that Bob Dylan will be performing in Stockholm next year, possibly in the spring, in which case he will have a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture. We will post more information as soon as we have it.”

Well, we had hope for a while, but the awkwardness continues: Bob Dylan will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm in December to accept his prize in literature. The Swedish Academy released a statement today clarifying this, saying they had received a letter from Dylan last night regretfully declining on the basis of “pre-existing commitments.” One wonders why these didn’t come up in Dylan’s recent Telegraph profile, in which the singer-songwriter was quoted as saying that he would attend the ceremony “absolutely. If it’s at all possible.” He also called the prize an “amazing, incredible” honor.

The Swedish Academy (one of whose members publicly criticized Dylan last month for his initial non-responsiveness to the award) concluded their statement by saying that they were “look[ing] forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he must give – it is the only requirement – within six months counting from December 10, 2016.” Let’s hope he doesn’t screw that part up.