Citadel 2018: Tame Impala and Leon Bridges steal the show at Gunnersbury Park

Hosted at a brand new location this year, Citadel Festival once again proved itself to be among the very best one day festivals in the country, thanks to an eclectic line-up and dizzying array of additional events and activites. 

Having hosted the sold-out Lovebox Festival the day before, Gunnersbury looked remarkably fresh as the Citadel train rolled into town.

After migrating from its previous home in Victoria Park, the festival retained many of its traditional delights and added a few extra too.

While Gunnersbury Park inhabits the outer reaches of London and isn’t the easiest to commute to and from — especially late on a Sunday — it felt a perfect fit for a festival that offers so much more than just its big name headliners.

From a deep dive into the neuroscience of creativity to science-comedy cabaret act Science Showoff at Science Camp to the musings of Jay Rayner and other well-known figures in a seated area, Citadel excels at adding value to its musical offerings.

The festival also made the brave decision to screen the World Cup final on site, inevitably drawing thousands away from the plethora of other stages and venues on offer.

Particularly popular was Isaac Gracie (pictured), making his biggest appearance to date with the early evening slot on the Communion Stage.

Undoubtedly a huge talent but with much of his material on the low-key acoustic end of the spectrum, it was surprising to see him step up so confidently and deliver a set worthy of the occasion.

Early hit ‘Terrified’ in particular was beefed up for the occasion, handling the transition from downbeat folk number to festival anthem with ease.

Closing out the Communion Stage was Texas native Leon Bridges, bringing his inimitable soul and blues repertoire, exhorting the crowd to boogie as his tight rhythm section played for all they were worth. With his dance-inducing hits fusing perfectly with a crowd looking to move, Bridges was a sure-fire hit,

Over on the main stage, Lauren Mayberry did her level best to whip up the post-World Cup final crowd, delivering rousing renditions of their hits to a rapidly expanding audience.

Tame Impala delivered an impeccable show, although those who stayed to the bitter end were rewarded with nightmare journeys home after poor organisation between the venue and TfL, with many festivalgoers forced to either sleep on the streets for the last train home or fork out extortion fees for taxis.

A sad way to end the festival, considering the flawless performances and sheer range of activities on offer that have elevated Citadel to one of the best one-day events in the country.




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