Responses by Tom Eele, creative director, and Ruud Luijten, creative developer, Gewest13.
Background: The website is built for the fifteenth anniversary of the Solar Weekend Festival. Built by hundreds of creatives every year, Solar is four days of art, fun and games, beautiful structures, theater, and—of course—great music. We wanted to catch its special vibe in an online environment. And, as Solar’s audience is relatively young, we created a mobile experience as well.
Design core: We were fortunate to have good photography and film assets, which is always key for any great web or print project. We also put a lot of time into creating a clean design, smooth transitions, subtle microanimations and funny boomerangs to give the site more character.
Favorite details: We really like the menu and transitions between areas. The “15 years” page was the last item we added because we felt something was missing. And we are glad we did because it definitely completes the site.
Challenges: Creating something that was different for a festival. Usually, the headlining artists make a festival, but with Solar, it’s the people that make the festival. We wanted to catch that on the website.
During the creation of the site, we were fortunate that we could take more time than we initially planned. We rebuilt a few parts because we were not completely satisfied with the way it felt. We began with a smaller site and then added parts as we felt confident with them. The client gave us almost absolute freedom in our choices, and we really invested in the project by spending a lot of extra, extra, extra time on it.
Navigation features: We built three parallax scenes that randomly appear when the user toggles the navigation. Each scene was created in Photoshop, animated with After Effects and built with GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP).