• Photography  Luca Trevisani
  • Words  Abi Buller

An East London festival hosting a myriad of cultural opportunities, Victoria Park’s Citadel offered a melting-pot of creative energy and spirit. Encapsulating the sense of fantasy akin to a music-lovers wonderland, a whimsical utopia awakened the day as early-risers sought a calmness tucked behind the main stage. An ephemeral space hosting lessons in lucid dreaming, sensory exploration, and a pop-up art studio, the alternative village kick-started a crescendo of atmospheric vibrancy heightening towards a dynamic culmination of musical talent.
As a young festival, now in it’s third year, Citadel takes inspiration from its predecessors while cultivating a uniqueness in curation and personality. Much like the galactic landscape of the festival’s visual identity, the site featured an unexpected sense of activity in impromptu dance performances, guerilla marketing, and an abundant exclamation of “namaste” in regular yoga demonstrations.
Inclusive of a generous amount of glitter-clad revelers, the festival comprised a sense of relaxation, as well as the joyous contentment of attending a Sunday festival. This spirit translated to festival-workers, young families, and the elder generation. The afternoon brought a refreshing burst of youthful charisma, with a performance by Maggie Rogers offering an enlightening sense of positivity. As a reflection on creative culture, she preached to her audience: “Being part of a community of artists is just the most amazing thing”. A statement resonant with the heritage of music festivals, the focus on communion was certainly not lost.
As clouds began to grey, Bonobo delivered ethereal, highly spirited sounds to pleasure the early evening crowds. He provided an otherworldly essence, which perpetuated the transcendental atmosphere as electronic waves rippled through the main stage arena.
What remained throughout the event was a pleasing sense of serenity, even amongst the rapidly growing crowds; energised for the closing vigour of the final act. Foals’ performance brought a sense of nostalgia in an uplifting and vibrant set comprising of old favourites and some newer tracks to excite their eager audience. They proffered a soulful dynamism that amplified the positive rhythm of the evening.
With the attendance of festival season becoming an ever-expanding pass time, there was delight at attending Citadel. A niche event with burgeoning potential, it encouraged an element of curiosity, and a disposition of true inclusivity.

See more at