What we learned from Citadel Festival 2019

All is well at Citadel.

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Now in its 3rd year at Gunnersbury Park, Citadel once again showed its class by bringing a perfectly concocted mixture of music, art and science to West London. The 2019 edition of the festival boasted a line-up featuring Catfish and The Bottlemen, Bastille, Friendly Fires, Bear’s Den and many more.

Here’s how the day went down.

Getting down early pays off 

A plethora of indie talent performed across several stages including the Main Stage, Communion Music Stage, DIY, Blu and many more throughout the day. Citadel kicked the day off in great fashion with acts such as The Murder Capital and The Teskey Brothers providing the riffs, plus a smorgasbord of DJs bringing the fire early on. Acton Town was already treated beyond belief by 16:00 and Citadel were not done yet.

Photo by Andrew Hughes

As the temperature fell throughout the evening, cooler summer vibes were flowing throughout the festival and drinks were being sunk left, right and centre. DMA’s hit up the Main Stage at around 16:15 and the Australians bought the house down with tracks from their 2018 release For Now. If indie-bangers direct from Straya wasn’t your thing, you could have checked out the delightful Matt Corby or HoneyBlood (Stina Tweeddale) on the Communion Music stage. The tent blessed festival-goers with shade and the shimmering notes of two of the best singer-songwriters in the business.

There’s more to Citadel than the music 

There were activities for all ages throughout the festival grounds including a spectacular science museum for youngsters to become the next Newton. A Q&A with Andrew Kuh from the UK Space Agency and a space pub quiz for everyone who wanted their Sunday to blast off.

Whilst there were many opportunities for festival-goers to have a mental workout, there were also opportunities to work on your physical fitness. ’70s Disco Workouts and many more themed sessions were constantly available from GLOW on the best-named stage ever… The Spandex Stage.

Photo by Justine Trickett

Citadel picks the perfect headliners 

The headliners for the weekend were just absolutely sensational. Friendly Fires whipped the Main Stage into life with tracks such as Love Like Waves, Heaven Let Me In, Silhouettes and most importantly, Ed Macfarlane showed West London some serious, and we mean serious dance moves.

Bastille were up next on the Main Stage and brought their regular repertoire of songs from albums Wild World and Bad Blood, whilst dropping in some of their new material from their 2019 release Doom Days.

Photo by Andrew Hughes

Then came Catfish and The Bottlemen. With a huge sign donning their new album artwork from The Balance released in April this year, the lads from North Wales stole the show extracting huge amounts of energy from the crowd, especially when they played hits such as Kathleen and Longshot.

Closing out the Communion Stage was Bear’s Den, who brought a beautiful acoustic sound which was then met with hundreds of adoring voices singing straight back at them. The Ivor Novello nominated talents stopped by on their So That You Might Hear Me tour, and have definitely picked up some new fans from this stop.

With another year over, all we can say Citadel Festival is thank you! Providing a whole heap of music lovers with a perfectly curated indie festival in the sunshine is no mean feat, and it was once again executed superbly.

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Header image by Andrew Hughes