The sun shone over Gunnersbury Park on Sunday as Citadel Festival 2019 delivered an escape from the city on a blissful summer’s day. With its boutique vibe and countryside feel, the festival site itself is what makes Citadel stand out from other city festivals.
Sadly, headline sets on the Main Stage were spoiled by poor sound quality. Music from DMA’s, Friendly Fires and Bastille failed to carry across the field. Citadel attracts a more mature, chilled crowd, and it’s a shame you couldn’t get the full experience from further back.
The Communion Stage proved the place to be. Headlining were Bear’s Den, who treated the crowd to tracks from their recently-released third album, ‘So That You Might Hear Me’, while Honeyblood, Jade Bird and Matthew and the Atlas also stood out as highlights from the stage.
The day also played host to a huge Cricket World Cup final screening and gladly, it was celebrations all round, the screen was packed with fans watching England storm to victory.
Powerful indie rock was the order of the day on the DIY stage where Grammy-winning Mali-based headliners, Tinariwen wowed the crowd with their original blend of blues, folk and rock. Other standout performances on the stage included South Korean band Hyukoh, Irish post punks Fontaines D.C. and Dublin’s The Murder Capital.
Leading festivals including Glastonbury, BST Hyde Park, and Primavera Sound made huge improvements on the diversity of their line ups this year – so much so, that you could really feel the embarrassing lack of female talent on offer at Citadel 2019. Especially on the Main Stage, which was a total sausage fest all afternoon. ZZZ.
Dream Wife’s lead singer, Rakel-Mjoll, also felt the lack of female representation. She took to Instagram after her set on the Main Stage, to air her frustration: “This baffles me. Everyone loses. Representation is important. It’s 2019. It’s just weird.”
Alongside the extensive musical offerings, Citadel again presented a wide range of cultural, educational and kids and families experiences – all of which drew huge crowds throughout the day.
Citadel ticks many boxes as a fun day-out, but has work to do on becoming a more credible London music festival.