Times they are a-changin’

Waiting five hours in line on a warm summer day in San Francisco is a small price to pay to see music legend Bob Dylan.

Deadheads, hipsters and businessmen playing hooky from work all mingled together in Summer of Love spirit as they waited for the box office and doors of The Warfield to open at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dylan played at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Tuesday, but his appearance at The Warfield was announced just Friday, only five days before the concert. Since notice was limited, fans said they heard or read about it in the news the night before or through word of mouth.

The surprise announcement was not the only twist to the show. No advance tickets were made available, so devoted Dylan fans — equipped with blankets, camping gear, chairs, umbrellas and sack lunches — began lining up outside The Warfield at noon.

“Given the state of touring and how fees have escalated, it was a real breath of fresh air to do something very consumer-oriented by eliminating all ticketing charges, it’s almost a throwback to another time,” David Lefkowitz, Goldenvoice vice president of booking, wrote on The Warfield’s website.

Since no credit cards or checks were accepted for payment, patrons avoided hefty fees and only paid $60 cash per ticket.

“This is way better than Ticketmaster,” Lower Haight resident Granger Loosley said. “I hate all those convenience fees and handling costs. Sixty bucks is a good deal for Bob Dylan.”

Several fans reported they prefer this unique method of ticket sales over online purchases, as big concerts like this usually sell out within minutes. Elise Guidoux, who waited in line overnight a few years ago for Paul McCartney, said this levels the playing field so that everyone has a chance to get tickets.

The line included fans of all ages, some who had seen Dylan play live dozens of times and some anxiously awaiting their first experience.

shaughey@sfexaminer.com

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