Welcome to Nowhere
Welcome to Nowhere is a music and arts festival held on a remote piece of farmland outside of Whanganui, Aotearoa New Zealand. Attendees pitch their tents and settle in for two days of entertainment. The idyllic site is along an unassuming gravel road, 45 minutes outside of mobile phone service. It has a swimming hole, regenerating bush, and sprawling hills.
I designed Welcome to Nowhere’s event artwork from 2021–2023.
In 2021, after four years running the event, the organisers expanded its size and sought to create an identity that would set it apart. I considered the title of the festival, its location, and its values to come up with the concept of a Map of Nowhere. It depicts a place of sunshine, creativity, and community, while utilising literal illustrations of the festival experience in order to raise awareness among new audiences.
Materials also include T-shirts for Road to Nowhere, a national tour taken by Soft Plastics and Church of Goya in the lead-up to the festival.
The 2022 identity pays homage to the native animals you may find around the festival grounds: kererū (wood pigeons), tuna (eels), and kahukura (red admiral butterflies). By centring these taonga, the artwork expresses the uniqueness of the event location and reflects the organisers’ promise to respect the land. It evokes a collection of artefacts, while remaining sunny and energetic.
Over the years, Welcome to Nowhere has grown in popularity and awareness, leaving room for an abstract approach in 2023. This artwork celebrates the land that makes this community event so special. Textured backgrounds created from photographs of harakeke (New Zealand flax) are layered under illustration inspired by the undulating topography of the site. The headline typography echoes the billowing linework of the illustration and the swooping shapes found in the harakeke.