Outside Lands and PayPal: A Cashless Adventure in Music, Art and Food

eBay Inc. Staff


This post originally appeared on the PayPal blog.

Even amid all the hot new indie bands, vast array of gourmet food options and Sir Paul McCartney himself, PayPal managed to make a huge splash at this year’s Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park.

From rentable lockers to the official PayPal tent and dozens of merchants using PayPal Here and Check-in services, our company was all over it, all weekend long. I hit the pavement along with colleague Melanie Kriese for a first-hand look at the consumer experience, including what people were saying about our integrations.

Constructed in the heart of the main concert area, our Convenience Store served as a focal point for engagement. We saw lots of people using the PayPal app to check in for 50% off essentials like sunscreen, ear plugs and blankets, as well as to participate in activities such as face painting, hair chalking, temporary tattoos of the day’s lineup, and pictures at the Instagram photo booth. All of the profits from PayPal Convenience Store sales went to support the non-profit San Francisco Rock Project, which provides a performing arts education for kids 7-18 years old.

We used the PayPal app to check in as we walked up to the store. We got to the counter, said hi, the clerk tapped our photo on his iPad, and we were done! No cash, no card, no angst. Plus, we walked away with some sweet PayPal-blue fuzzy gloves. Yes, gloves! It can get chilly in San Francisco, even in August.

One concertgoer had just installed her PayPal app that morning. A PayPal staff member at the Convenience Store showed her how to use it and then added, “Now, no wallet. No credit card.” Her response? An enthusiastic, “OMG! I LOVE that!”

The mobile phone charging stations were also a huge hit, making the Convenience Store the place to chill out and recharge between shows.

Next we were off to find San Francisco’s famous food trucks, which were well represented this year and all accepted PayPal! But what to choose? Buttermilk fried chicken? Pizza? Ribs? Spring rolls? Tacos? Finally, a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich from Bacon Bacon was the decided winner. We logged in to our PayPal app, tapped ‘Local’ and checked in before saying “I’m paying with PayPal.” And that was it – our cashier didn’t have to deal with a card or cash. More importantly, neither did we.

The experience? Super easy. The sandwich? Well, it was melted cheese, and toasted bread, and bacon. Fabulous, of course!

We also stopped in at several non-food merchants, all of which were sporting the familiar blue PayPal Here dongle on their iPads.

Finally, a quick stroll around the outside of the main festival area revealed hundreds of blue lockers powered by PayPal, which were so popular they sold out! Why not lock up your wallet if you don’t need it for anything, right?

For even the casual festivalgoer, PayPal’s presence at Outside Lands was hard to miss. And for those who chilled out, charged up, or used PayPal to pay, it appeared to be something more: a seamless, simple, delightful part of life.