What we learned from Citadel Festival 2018

Tame Impala, CHVRCHES and more took to Gunnersbury Park in July.

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Alongside sister festival Lovebox (read our review and see our gallery of that one here), Citadel took to move to Gunnersbury Park this year, welcoming headliners Tame Impala atop a line-up filled with a mesmerising mixture of new and established talent. From the electro-pop of Scottish stars CHVRCHES to the tones of upstarts Matt Maltese and Dermot Kennedy, the festival is a celebration of music, art and more.

With the picturesque new location providing a fitting backdrop to the sun-kissed sky, here’s some of our highlights and takeaways from a Sunday in West London.


Check out more from Citadel in our gallery here

It makes the perfect Sunday

Citadel is one of a handful of festivals that truly exudes a hazy Sunday vibe that is genuinely relaxing. There are multiple places to put your feet up, from outside the wine bar to on the grassy setting of the spoken word stage. That’s not to say you can’t go mad, but it’s a stark contrast to its sister festival Lovebox and feels more like the relaxed opening scene from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet; think young guys in Hawaiian shirts and chains bathed in the glow the recent summer sun. But also families, kids taking over dance-floors with freshly invented moves and mums and dads propping up bars.

Tame Impala sound better when it’s hot

Headliners Tame Impala are really into ethereal atmospheres. In fact, it’s the constant in their records. On Sunday, the dust dragged up by the hot weather picked up the pink glow from the stage lights, mixed into the orange of the sun setting behind the main stage. Add that to a crowd of thousands swaying in the heat, singing Let It Happen and it was like a different world.

Tame Impala - Let It Happen (Official Video)


Science is fun

There’s been a science camp at Citadel since last year, hosting talks and fun experiments, and it continued to be a highlight come 2018. In fact, it was near impossible to get in the tent for the talks as fans piled in to be wowed and inspired.

Everyone should check out Leon Bridges

Young soul singer Leon Bridges has been playing on our office Spotify lists for weeks, most prominently Liberated with DeJ Loaf. Going by the size of the crowd in the tent and number of people singing every word, it looks like the cat is out the bag and he’ll soon be even hotter property.

DeJ Loaf, Leon Bridges - Liberated (Official Video)


CHVRCHES never stand still
Lauren Mayberry opened the set by describing themselves as three already very sweaty Scottish people, so it was amazing how little they stood still. She became a blur in every fan’s photos. And it makes sense, people love to dance to CHVRCHES and they love to dance around with their fans. It’s a perfect combination, and a perfect synth-pop set.

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Photo courtesy of Citadel Festival