Dewey Paul Moffitt

The International Bob Dylan Tribute Festival

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

The International Bob Dylan Tribute Festival, stopping Saturday in Olympia’s West Central Park, was founded not by a lifelong fan of the Nobel Prize-winning folk icon. Rather, tribute organizer and singer-songwriter Dewey Paul Moffitt of Keystone, Colorado, got interested in Dylan only after a stint selling merchandise for a couple of weeks of the raspy-voiced bard’s shows in the early ’90s.

Dylan was playing with a new band, and the first few shows were rough, Moffitt said in a phone interview last week. “It was really bad,” he said. “They were playing songs in different keys. I didn’t really get it. About two weeks later, the energy of the shows blew me away. It was absolutely unbelievable.”

Such was the passion of this convert that Moffitt not only founded the festival (which launched in 2006 in Denver) but also fronts a couple of related tribute acts including the Dylan-and-more band Garcia Van Dylan. Saturday’s show is part of the festival’s first tour outside of Colorado, and the musicians are different for each show. In Olympia, Moffitt will play a stripped-down set with a band of about a half-dozen musicians, plus “a possible surprise guest or two.” In Denver, the show benefits music education, something Moffitt hopes to incorporate in other cities in years to come.

Also among summer events at the park is the fourth-annual Artsplash, a free celebration of music and visual arts set for Saturday, July 29. The music lineup: Mike Burdorf (noon – 12:40 p.m.), Lisa Ramsauer (12:40-1:20 p.m.), Evan Price (1:20-2 p.m.), The Hinges (2-3 p.m.), Lemmings (3-4 p.m.) and Magnificent Sanctuary Band (4 p.m. on).

What: International Bob Dylan Tribute Festival

Where: West Central Park,
1919 Division St. NW, Olympia

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22

How much: $5

Get tickets: 360-352-7363 | The West Central Park Project

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What: Artsplash

Where: West Central Park,
1919 Division St. NW, Olympia

When: noon Saturday, July 29

How much: free

Get tickets: 360-352-7363 | The West Central Park Project




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