Bob Dylan put a dampener on proceedings when he refused to allow TV cameras or photographers into an open-air concert he gave Monday night at the Expo 2008 world fair in Zaragoza, northern Spain.

But it appears nobody had told the fair's organizers that Dylan rarely allowed cameras into his concerts, and they issued a press statement to show how miffed they were.

The June 14-Sept 14 Expo 2008 is based on the theme Water and Sustainable Development. Some months ago, Dylan gave permission for his "A Hard Rain's 'A Gonna Fall" to be the official song of the 105-nation fair, which is expected to attract 6 million visitors. Dylan even recorded a TV ad in English backing the fair and its water theme, which was shown daily on Spanish TV for a month last winter.

Shortly before this week's concert was scheduled to begin, Expo 2008 released an international press statement to say "Expo Zaragoza regrets this situation [which is] beyond the control of the Fair, and at this moment of the night it is negotiating with Bob Dylan's representatives so that at least the official Channel Expo TV and the organizing committee's official photographer can have access to the concert area and offer images to those that need them."

The statement added, "If the singer accedes, we shall communicate [the fact] with sufficient time in advance." The singer did not accede.

The Expo note explained that organizers had been trying "for the past few days" to get the artist to authorize cameras into the concert for the first song, "as is habitual in the majority of concerts celebrated in our country. However, at this moment of the night, the attempts have not been fruitful."

The 5,000-strong audience did not seem to mind, with many cheering when Dylan sang "A Hard Rain..." at the end of the concert. Zaragoza was the first of an 11-date Spanish run for Dylan, which concludes July 10. Tonight's concert is in Pamplona, the city Ernest Hemingway made famous nearly 80 years ago with his accounts of the annual bull-running festival in early July.