Arts and CultureChoose Your CityNewsSan Francisco

These People Lined Up at 3:30 AM For Symphony Tickets

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news
Image: Elese Moran,

The hardest of hardcore symphony fans in the Bay Area lined up starting at 3:30 a.m. this morning for a Black Friday-style, doorbuster San Francisco Symphony event called Single Tickets Day. While the SF Symphony’s 2017-18 season tickets went available online at 10 a.m. this morning, the most devoted symphony fanatics dutifully lined up for hours before sunrise for first crack at these tickets, armed with their folding chairs, yoga mats and blankets.

Image: Elese Moran,

Superfan Kim Hirschfeld was the very first person to arrive in line at the Davies Symphony Hall at 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. She was the first person in line last year, too. “Last year I was by myself for the first 15 minutes, I was a little scared. But then other people started showing up at 4 in the morning, so it made me feel a little more comfortable,” she told “I’m really excited to see Itzhak Perlman, he’s a beautiful violinist, he has two shows.”

Image: Elese Moran,

You know that San Franciscans love waiting in line for things, but the Single Ticket Day symphony line is magical like no other. The SF Symphony busts out 6-foot tall Bose speakers blasting classical music, hands gift bags to everyone in line, and the first 200 people in line got free breakfast from food truck maestros of The Waffle Roost and Lady Falcon Coffee Club.

Image: Elese Moran,

But what do these people do out in the dark cold from 3:30 or 4 in the morning until the symphony box office opens at 8 a.m.?

“We talk. Talk generates body heat,” said line-waiting symphony fan Roger, who browsed through the 2017-18 season calendar. “We want to hear Hilary Hahn in the spring, she does Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. I always go to hear Gil Shaham, another violinist who’s playing in March, he’s really wonderful. This is a very good season.”

These people love their classical music as much as you will ever love anything. Mary O’Brien has gotten up early to get in this line every year for the last 19 years. “Every year for the rest of my life I will go see Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto,” she said. “It never gets old.”

Image: Elese Moran,

This good dog is doing his second annual Single Tickets Day line, and the humans belonging to him have Single Tickets Day plan of attack they use every year. “We have a system,” said Judy (not pictured), pointing to her friend in the chair above. “He sits in the chair, but I sit in the car because I have a placard these days.”

Single Tickets Day is a tradition going back years, but some these classical music fans have roots that go back even further. “When I was a little girl growing up here in the city I used to see the Summer Pops with Arthur Fiedler,” Judy said. “Tickets were 50 cents a whack. We’ve been longtime symphony lovers.”

San Francisco Symphony tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale now, with highlights like Bernstein Centennial Celebration, Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’,  live orchestra accompaniments of the films ‘Amadeus’ and ‘West Side Story’, plus many other 2017-18 season highlights.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Azealia Banks Sucks. But So Do We.

Next post

Introducing the BAS Cannabis Club!

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.