FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Citadel; The Festival Who Self-Proclaims It’s ‘The Ultimate Summer Sunday’. Citadel, With Your Line Up We have to Agree!

Citadel festival is back for its 6th year, still featuring the inimitably indie Communion record label, and its lineup is ludicrously good. 

Headlined by the arena-gracing Catfish and the Bottlemen, in the beautiful Gunnersbury Park, it features the lofty likes of Bear’s Den and Bastille; of Banfi and Balcony; of Bittersweet and Boyoca. And those are just the Bs!

In honesty, it’s just an all-round great lineup, featuring some of the best acts around, both established and up-and-coming, of all genres. You have Talos, a celestially talented singer (and former lecturer) hailing from Cork, whose heavenly vocals hypnotize and ensnare everyone who listens — seriously, check out Endgame from his debut album, Wild Alee, and try to not get goosebumps — and you have Cleopatrick, an insanely talented filthy-rock duo from Ontario who are changing the face of rock music.

Anyone would struggle to find a more eclectic pair to play together, but here they are. Where else are you ever going to get the two of them playing the same festival?

Not to mention arena-level bands. To say they can sell them out is an understatement. No. For the few hours they play each night, the arenas are solely theirs, and this is one of the last chances you’ll have to see either Catfish and the Bottlemen or Bastille in a (comparatively) intimate location. Both having recently released their third albums, expect a mix of bangers both old and new!


But what if live music isn’t your cup of tea?

No need to fear, the festival is ready and waiting, with a veritable bazaar of entertainment. You have comedy, featuring the likes of Phil Wang on ‘Opinion’ and Lou Sanders on ‘Style’; you have Circus Workshops, which shall be run by a team of experienced practitioners; you have dance parties and workouts in a variety of styles. You even have yoga!

We promise Sunday will be an unforgettable day!

Top five acts to see:


Having just released his second album, ‘Far Dust’, this spellbinding singer/songwriter is scarily talented: his voice is mesmerising and each song is unique. Eoin French’s Work as Talos, a name inspired by his grandfather, is tender and emotional, combining his soulful falsetto with hair-raising reverb and acoustics, and the end-result is the epitome of beauty.


Cleopatrick are a rock-duo from Ontario, Canada. Those are the facts. On top of that, though, they have this ineffable drive and passion when they play, songs which perfectly toe the line between good music and good fun. Having recently celebrated a sold-out UK tour, including London’s O’Meara, these aren’t to be missed!

Bear’s Den

Bear’s Den, at this point, are indie musical heavyweights: headlining festivals, selling out venues and breaking hearts world over, with their heart-wrenching lyrics, especially with their Ivor-Novello nominated debut album, ‘Islands’. Plus, Kevin Jones, half of the two man powerhouse, is part owner of Communion records, along with Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons — not only is he insanely talented himself, then, but he can spot it in others. Breathtaking harmonies guaranteed!


MarthaGunn are a Communion favourite: a five piece heralding from Brighton, they’re an eclectic mix of indie-rock, 70s pop greatness. Their harmonies are divine and their fashion sense is second to none! Plus, they open the Communion stage, playing at 12:35 — seeing them promises to be a brilliant way to open the day.

And of course, Catfish and the Bottlemen

Do Catfish even need an introduction? The Welsh rockers just came off of their UK tour supporting their recent third album ‘The Balance’, including a sold out Wembley, and are back to headline Citadel festival 2019. Regularly playing their anthemic bangers to audiences of tens of thousands, with festival slots and arena dates world over, these indie-rockers are something else. From humble beginnings, playing gigs in the car parks of other bands’ venues, they signed onto Communion Records, won the 2014 BBC Introducing Award, and have never looked back. See them on Sunday before they go from a merely stratospheric band to a truly legendary one.

Or, alternatively, see literally any of the bands or acts. They all promise brilliance: whoever you see, it will be a phenomenal day.

Words: James O’Sullivan