Dylan Experiment: The Raw Footage

The San Francisco press reported on last night’s cash-only Bob Dylan concert.  

Bob Dylan played The Warfield in San Francisco Aug. 25 using a cash-only, day-of-show ticket purchase policy and, at press time, the response was overall positive.

The Dylan show was announced a week before the show took place. There was no advance ticket sales, and credit cards were not allowed. Fans were encouraged to line up day-of-show, with $60 in cash, for the 5:30 p.m. door time. The process eliminated scalping and service fees, but the unknown factor would be if the concept was a hit with fans.

It was, according to reports from the queue.

People waited in line for hours but they were “patient and inventive,” according to KGO-TV.

“I’ve got a nice novel here, got plenty of drinks and people talk to and I’m looking forward to the show,” one patron told the television station.

“This is way better than Ticketmaster,” another patron told the San Francisco Examiner. “I hate all those convenience fees and handling costs. Sixty bucks is a good deal for Bob Dylan.”

“The Dylan show at the Warfield last night was amazing,” Goldenvoices David Lefkowitz told Pollstar. “He played special selections that have not appeared on set lists on the rest of the tour, seemingly with a nod to some of his songs often covered by the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band, from actual Warfield shows.

“The ticketing experiment was a very worthy endeavor. We set up street performers, port-o-potties and food vendors for the patrons in line. While the show would have sold more with advance sales, we were happy to take this ride with Bob Dylan and his team. It would be nice to see other artists and promoters begin to try different ways shake up the rapidly escalating fees and scalper dominance.”

In fact, “several fans” told the Examiner they preferred this method of sales to online purchases. One concertgoer, who said that a few years ago she waited in line overnight to see Paul McCartney, told the paper this “levels the playing field” so that everyone can get tickets.

The devoted fans arrived with blankets, camping gear, chairs, umbrellas and sack lunches, and the line reportedly began at noon.

Here’s what KGO-TV reported prior to the show.

And here’s today’s take from the San Francisco Examiner.