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Music video to celebrate Bob Dylan, region’s rich music environment

Duluth Dylan Fest and Song From the North Country will commemorate Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday this year by partnering to create a uniquely local, collaboratively-produced music video.

Now in its 11th year, Duluth Dylan Fest will run May 22-30 with a mainly virtual event featuring some in-person opportunities following CDC safe social distancing guidelines. A highlight of the annual weeklong festival is the songwriter contest.

“We are excited about the new twist on the songwriter contest this year,” said committee member Mark Poirier. “The pandemic has inspired our committee to think creatively and provide new ways to celebrate Bob Dylan and our region’s rich music environment.”

This year the winning song will be made into a music video produced by Song From the North Country’s talented group of local and regional musicians. There will be cash prizes for the first-, second- and third-place winners, with an opportunity for those winners to perform during the fest.

Song From the North Country began making socially-distanced videos of original, regional music last year as a response to the pandemic and a way for area musicians to connect with one another and their followers. Their videos have drawn isolated musicians into closer community and have been viewed around the world as postcards from home by those who love our region.

In addition to the Duluth Dylan Fest’s Song From the North Country Songwriting Contest, the festival will feature a poetry contest, lecture, tour, and a number of musical events. The Duluth Dylan Fest is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, along other local donors and sponsors.

Interested songwriters will need to submit an original song. To learn more about the Duluth Dylan Fest’s Song From the North Country Songwriter Contest guidelines, please visit the Duluth Dylan Fest Facebook page or visit Song From the North Country’s website at The deadline for submitting an original song is April 2 at 11:59 p.m. and space is limited to 30 contestants.

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