Basking in the summer sunshine, London’s brightest new festival Citadel brought together all the best elements of the perfect summer’s day, with live music, fine dining, debates and comedy, dancing and arts and much more in Victoria Park.
With highlights including intriguing multi-instrumentalist Anna Calvi appearing alongside The Heritage Orchestra, the ever-eclectic Jimi Goodwin, captivating singer-songwriter Kurt Vile and inspirational quartet Bombay Bicycle Club, the Main Stage explored a diverse lineup, with the unforgettable Ben Howard topping the bill and closing the first ever Citadel event.
From the creators of the award-winning multi-arts Wilderness Festival, Citadel boasts an impressive array of food and drink options, with the sold-out Feasts from Richard Turner (of Hawksmoor, Meatopia, Pitt Cue Co. fame) offering a lazy Sunday lunch banquet, featuring a slow roast shoulder of lamb and chocolate tarts, as well as delicious treats from Le Bun, Constancia On The Road, Voodoo Ray’s, Meantime Brewery and Kozel.
On the Communion stage, in association with DIY, exciting left field talent Nick Mulvey led the way, following from rising gospel sensation Leon Bridges, band-on-the-rise Bear’s Den, electro darling Daniel Croll and distinctive vocalist Rhodes.
An incredible talent with ever-lasting appeal, Neneh Cherry headlined the Soundcrash arena – in association with Last.fm – alongside electronic duo Rocketnumbernine for a memorable closing set. Roots Manuva performed to a packet tent, following the masterful Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and West African disco post-punk fusionists Ibibio Sound Machine.
The Despacio sound system was the stage for James Murphy and 2manydjs to shine – a unique custom-built disco bonanza, and a high point of the day.
At the Sunday Papers Live, Citadel presented debates and talks from the likes of bass poet Charlie Dark, beatboxer Reeps One, activist, author an politician Maajid Nawaz and London Mayoral candidate Tess Jowell. The Citadel Art Studio featured workshops spanning a number of skills including an origami masterclass, kids’ craft table and perps jewellery making, while there were dance workshops, a Hoop Hop woshrshop from Hoola Queen and capoeira with Danca da Liberdade.
The comedy tent, presented by Edinburgh-favourite Udderbelly was a roaring success, headlined by Australian comedian Felicity Ward. And the Sports Field was a hive of activity throughout the day, with a kids sports day, three-legged races, the Victoria Park Volleyball Championships with Robin Clyfan, disco dodgeball, relay races and more.
The Park Bandstand, hosted by Continental Drifts and Global Local, featured a melting pot of traditional music, from folk ceilidhs to hoedowns, while there was croquet, badminton and Giant Jenga for all to enjoy. The Roller Disco hosted the kids’ Rock ’N’ Roller Disco, and there were boutiques from Dancing Leopard, OOTO Clothing, Violet’s Box, The Wick Market, Gypsy East, Mystic Moon and Tallulah Minxy.
At Citadel London came together to take a collective breath and enjoy the very best in music and creativity.
Thank you to all who came and enjoyed the very first Citadel. It was a day to remember.