Website development

Next.js | Contentful | Node.js

Full stack Next.js powered update to this international art festival's website. Powered by a completely bespoke Contentful back-end. Made in collaboration with Lobster.

Featuring extensive archives in three languages, this entire website was upgraded and overhauled in record time.


Europalia, a renowned Belgian arts festival, approached LOBSTER, a branding and creative direction studio based in Antwerp, to revamp their Gatsby-powered website in preparation for the 2023 Georgia Festival. The existing site was slow and often difficult for editors to update, and required significant quality-of-life improvements. I collaborated with LOBSTER's designer and Europalia's digital team to overhaul the website.

Project Overview

The primary goal of this project was to enhance the website's performance, simplify the editing process, and expand its architecture to accommodate an extensive archive of past festivals and events. As the sole developer, I was responsible for converting the codebase from Gatsby to Next.js 13, optimizing the backend and frontend, and ensuring that the website was responsive and performant across various devices and browsers.

Backend Development

To streamline the editing process, I implemented a CMS-powered static site generator with a modular page-builder, providing editors with complete creative control. By leveraging Next.js 13 and its features, such as Incremental Static Generation, I improved the site's performance and enabled previewing content, significantly enhancing the editing experience.

Frontend Development

Working closely with LOBSTER's designer, I developed a responsive and highly performant frontend that matched the intended design. A crucial component of the frontend was the implementation of a new filter-UI and site search to improve user experience and make navigation more intuitive.


To ensure optimal performance, I conducted rigorous device and browser testing. This process involved checking the website's responsiveness and functionality across various devices and browsers, addressing any issues that arose, and making necessary adjustments.

Technical Stack

The technical stack for this project consisted of the following technologies:

  • Next.js

  • GraphQL

  • Node.js

  • React

  • TypeScript


Upon completion, Europalia expressed great satisfaction with the revamped website. The transition from Gatsby to Next.js 13, along with the numerous under-the-hood optimizations, resulted in a more performant and user-friendly site. Editors now benefit from a streamlined editing process, and the website's architecture is better equipped to handle an extensive archive of past festivals and events.

The updated website can be viewed at


This project demonstrates the effectiveness of a well-executed website overhaul in addressing performance issues, simplifying content management, and enhancing user experience. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Next.js and implementing thoughtful design, it is possible to create a website that not only meets the client's needs but also exceeds their expectations.