Here's the complete set of Gathering artwork for 98/99. Click to see more:
I think 98/99 was our best year as far as a co-ordinated "look" was concerned. The booklet, CD, poster, sticker and tickets were all designed by our very own Fi Jack, aka Hemisphere, and I think she totally nailed it. I love how everything matches! Even the shape of the block of colour on the crew passes was taken directly from the curve of the hill behind the logo in the poster. And I redesigned the website to match. There's nothing better than presenting an entirely consistent message when you want to remind people who you are and what you're all about.
I know not everyone was as enamoured with Fi's designs as I was. Those people for whom it's much more about the lights and the visuals and the music and the sheer spectacle of the thing didn't feel that it represented that side of the event at all, which is true. I think why I liked it so much was partly because it was so consistent, but also because, for me, it represented the heart of the event, its true spirit, if you like.
The graphics represented freedom, joy, community, and being outdoors in the wide open spaces of a beautiful environment - and that was something I'd focused on in my publicity efforts that year. And that was for two reasons - partly because I knew I was nowhere near as good as Grant Smithies (publicist for the 1st and 2nd Gatherings) at talking about DJs and musical styles - I didn't have the right words and I wasn't really cool enough to carry it off - but also because for me that's what set The Gathering apart from the rest. Everyone has lights and awesome DJs and great visuals - but no-one else had Canaan Downs, and no-one else had The Gatherers.
Our tagline "be nice humans" was really important - we'd had it since the beginning and it had become something of a self-fulfilling prophesy - Gatherers were nice humans, and I felt it was important to emphasise that as more and more new Gatherers joined us up the hill each year.
We reinstated part of the tagline which had been in the original artwork of 96/97, but had been taken out in 97/98. The tagline for The Gathering 98/99 was as follows:
The Gathering is a festival of freedom, dance, music and participation. Your presence creates The Gathering. Take care, we are all responsible for the environment. Be nice humans.
We also got rid of the pointy "G" in "Gathering" from 97/98 and went back to the original curvy G of the first year. Why? Because we liked it better.