Mysteryland is a dance festival that offers a wide range of music styles. First held in 1993 and thus the longest running dance festival in the world. Creativity and discovery are the core values of the festival. In recent years a lot of attention has been dedicated to sustainability for which they have garnered several prestigious prizes. International editions of Mysteryland were held at the foot of the Andean Mountains in Chile and on the legendary Woodstock ’69 site in Bethel Woods, New York, USA. Mysteryland is a concept of ID&T.
Ever since 2009 we have been developing digital innovations with Mysteryland. For 2016 these were the websites for the different countries and the festival app. A mainstream festival? Certainly. But also by far the largest and most successful dance event in the Netherlands. From around 60,000 visitors in 2009 to over 100,000 visitors in 2016, and that’s only in the Netherlands. All that while the competition is huge. Why does Mysterland succeed in staying on top?
We see two important reasons (which we also take to heart as an online partner): constant innovation that focuses on users and being more than just a festival. We take both these factors into account for the website and the app.
Keep innovating and listening to your audience
Mysteryland is at the forefront of innovation. By 2016, they were the first festival in the world to stream all stages live in virtual reality. They also invested a lot in the sustainability of the festival. We apply the latest technology online to create an optimal experience for visitors: an app-style website, mobile sensors and a huge variety of editorial elements that the Mysteryland team can use worldwide to construct and compile their websites.
Focus on the user
Mysteryland is and stays a party, the website and app are as well. Because a majority of the visitors use a mobile device, we have chosen a mobile-first approach. This guarantees that the experience on a mobile device is just as good as on a desktop. The colorful and playful block structure lends itself perfectly for this it and makes you feel the atmosphere of the festival when you first visit the website.
Mysteryland offers a vast array of music and fringe programming. From Martin Garrix and Afrojack as true mainstage acts to Wildstylez’s beating hardstyle at the Q-Dance stage. From the Dutch Hiphop of De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig to the techno of Dave Clarke and the list goes on. Names we really need to mention are Robin Schulz, Seth Troxler, Galantis and of course Diplo, the American DJ/producer who received two Grammys in 2016.
How can you display this huge number of 350 DJs in a way that is both worthy of the brand and easy for the users?
We devised a solution that would equally serve users of the website and the app.
Each artist’s block came with an audio preview. This way you can quickly find out what stage you want at any time.
Would you like to know more about an artist? An innovative sidebar system allows you to quickly switch between artists. Inside the sidebar, visitors can find a short bio, YouTube videos and social hyperlinks.
In addition to the grid view (blocks) you can also choose to see the line-up as a list. The image is then more compact, but less atmospheric.
Add artists to your favorites. This allows you to create a personal timetable as a visitor, so you always know when to attend a particular stage!
In addition to all the useful features, we also made some things just because we can. Like a motion sensor that works through your phone’s gyroscope function.
What would a party be without confetti? The whole website has a tropical theme. A tropical pineapple confetti bomb is therefore indispensable!
(Click on the pineapple)
Mobile festival guide
In addition to the website, we also designed the app. The app serves as a digital festival guide with a map, notifications and all the other information you need as a visitor. Users wer able to get a notification 15 minutes in advance so that they would not miss any of their favorite acts.
Mysteryland, as the longest running dance festival in the world, feels obliged to be innovative in all areas. (…) Not just in the musical field but also in the field of visual arts. Because Mysteryland believes that artists, from whichever discipline, lead the way (..) Art determines and shows the future, also on Mysteryland
More than a festival: art, culture & a better world
Childhood Memories was the theme for the art on Mysteryland and this year’s edition was larger than ever. Artists from the Netherlands as well a from further afield created custom-made works for Mysteryland or would bring installations previously featured at international festivals such as Coachella and Burning Man.
American artist Kate Raudenbush became known for her work for Burning Man. She has been involved with Mysteryland since 2014; the year she made the Wishing Tree, an installation that traveled with the festival to the the editions in Chile and New York. This year she was responsible for the design of the mainstage.
Visitors could also enjoy a sixteen meter high water lily and a huge teddy bear. The Water Lily has been given a permanent place on the festival site. Mysteryland decided to give this work as a present to the municipality and citizens of Haarlemmermeer.
Here as well, there were too many artworks to name them all. However, we would like to mention the balloon swing made by Robert Bose, the Fountain of eternal youth made by Onno Poiesz and the huge Barbapapa that feels like a womb made by architect and artist Rob van Dam.
Innovations for a better world
A better world?! Isn’t that just for tree-huggers? Mysteryland doesn’t think so. And we, as a bureau that likes to pride itself on its social entrepeneurschip and that supports many projects with a social impact, can certainly appreciate that attitude.
Mysteryland is used in many ways to test innovations. From a solar-powered frying pan to testing lighting for refugee camps; Organizations like the Red Cross and Greenpeace like to use the festival as a lab for testing sustainable innovations.
The festival is organized based on a strong philosophy. They call it their festival soul; sustainability remains central in order to make sure that even in the distant future anyone who wants it can still enjoy this beautiful festival. Their strong links with civil society organizations, innovations and art are all deduced from the basic idea.
For the design, we based ourselves on the Art Direction of the Mysteryland team led by Frank Burghout.