Thursday 4 July 2019

PREVIEW: Citadel Festival 2019

Ridiculously excited to share that I'll be heading to this year's Citadel Festival next Sunday (July 14th) to watch some of my favourite bands and write about it for the blog. One of the coolest blog related perks to date. It's my first time at the festival, a single day event in Gunnersbury Park in West London which started back in 2015 with the particularly impressive co-headliners Bombay Bicycle Club and Ben Howard. The likes of Foals and Tame Impala have since headed line-ups full to the brim with a programme of live music, talks, workshops and even a spot of yoga. Fun and educational for all the family. With Catfish and the Bottlemen heading up a very strong line-up this year I am very much looking forward to it and keeping my fingers crossed for good weather on the day!

Testament to the quality of the line-up, I'm probably most excited about the artists playing (and headlining) one of the smaller stages this year, as Communion Music (that indie label that I ramble about quite a lot) are curating the secondary stage. MarthaGunn and Banfi kick off proceedings, before Cleopatrick, The Teskey BrothersMatthew and The Atlas and recent Bushstock Festival headliner Matt Corby. The stage's headliners (and some of my favourite chaps in the world) are Bear's Den, returning to the UK for a huge hometown set after a pretty much non-stop run of touring across Europe and the US since the release of their album So that you might hear me back in April. The latest Communion Presents on Radio X show is worth a listen - Maz was joined by Davie from Bear's Den for a Citadel takeover with music from acts playing across the festival - listen here.

You could in all honestly stay at the Communion Music stage all day and go home feeling that you've got your money's worth.  Personally, I'll be tearing myself away from the barrier there and heading to the main stage to catch another of my absolute favourite bands, Friendly Fires. I've been a big fan of the band for years and finally got to see them live last April at their comeback O2 Brixton show - lead singer Ed's dancing was as infectious as I'd expected and if you're heading to the festival these really should not be missed. With their last album released back in 2011, they'll be playing tracks from upcoming record Inflorescent, due for release in August.

They'll be followed up by Bastille - a brilliant live act who's stage set up at Glastonbury (currently catching up on the iPlayer) was on another level. The festival happens to coincide with lead singer Dan Smith's birthday (Bastille Day) so it's bound to be a bit of a riot! Welsh indie-rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen bring proceedings on the main stage to a close, with tracks from their recent album The Balance which reached number two in the album charts back in May. I've not seen them live before so I'm intrigued to catch their set as I know a lot of people who have a lot of love for the band and their shows!

The likes of DMA's, Tinariwen, Dream WifeFontaines DC and Talos complete the music line-up across a few stages, while a range of workshops, talks, quizzes and other events take place during the day - Peppa Pig is even making an appearance. Not to mention a bunch of London's best street food outlets to choose from.

Between Friendly Fires, Bear's Den and more I'm excited to see some of my favourite artists and to hopefully discover some new bands next weekend. Tickets for the festival are available here and you can download the official Citadel app to check out timings and other info on the day.

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