If there is one regret I have from my miss spent youth it’s not going to enough festivals. The chance to dress up in any wacky way I like, eat and drink all day, watch amazing performers and meet fellow free spirits who are all there to have fun and forget about life’s worries has always appealed to me. Ok I will admit that cueing for smelly toilets, sleeping in a sweaty tent and waking up with a hangover as the sun turns the tent into a sauna or sloshing through heavy mud until you’re so dirty you feel as if you may as well follow in the footsteps of a farmyard pig and start wallowing in it, is perhaps less appealing. This brings me to the conclusion that day festivals may definitely be the way forward. So when the invite to Citadel festival popped up in the QL inbox I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunataly poor Ginnie was stuck in a chateau with a pool in Sunny France so I had to do without her but luckily my trusty QL side kick Nik was more than happy to take her place.
And so it was we woke up on a gorgeous Sunday morning and headed for the station. Despite the Thames train system being reliably unreliable we managed to make it to the festival in good time. I got a little too excited about my wrist band and almost had an absolutely fabulous ‘Sweetie/darling’ moment as I flashed it about.
As soon as we were inside we were drawn to the golden halo of the Corona tent!
We went on a wander following the music until we found a dance floor. I busted some moves but soon gave up when I realised I couldn’t compete with a giant bee strutting his stuff in front of me.
Like two excited kids let loose in a playground we carried on exploring our new surroundings…
While my friend enjoyed some chill time I decided to rave it up at Tequila Town! The DJs were fantastic and really got the crowd going! Little did I know that something even better was just around the corner as further into the park we stumbled across a swing dance tent with a wonderful group showing the crowd exactly how it’s done. It was great to watch and has even inspired me take up some classes myself… must just make sure I look up the right kind of ‘swingers’ though!
There was a laid back, mellow atmosphere at Citadel which was perfect for families, they even had an exciting looking yellow bus for the more diminutive hell raisers.
As we delved deeper into the festival we bagan to realise just how massive it was, the tents and rides seemed to stretch on in an endless array of fun. The grassy areas were turned into games sections where you could play badminton, table tennis or simply get involved in a giant skipping rope session with your friends and the multitude of tents offered up a variety of entertainment ranging from the usual bands and DJs playing sets to comedy, dress up areas and roller blading.
I found my own personal happy place in the ‘Out of The Ordinary’ tent where the was an abundance of glamorous outfits calling me to try them on!
Even Nik found something that suited him perfectly!
After all the hard work we were drawn to a particularly unusual looking tent. A lady was standing outside urging us to try some heart shaped glasses so we put them on and stepped inside. As soon as we peered through them it felt as though we were in an acid laced love trance as the glasses turned each shard of light into a million tiny hearts. Once inside the tent there were cushions and rugs to lie back on, perfect for those wanting a place to cuddle up or, as in Nik’s case, have a corona induced nap! This lovely tent was thought up by the people behind the charity love support unite who match volunteers skills with long lasting development projects to provide healthcare, education and skills training to those who need it most in Malawi. If you’re interested in finding out more take a look at there website here.
Feeling a new lease of life after our snooze in the love tent we set off to see what more there was to discover. I have heard a lot of talk about The Sunday Papers live event and knowing they were at Citadel I was intrigued to find out what it was all about, particularly because Eddie The Eagle was scheduled to appear for the sports section. Sadly my dreams did not last long as I realised we had just missed him but it was great to see the crowd sitting back on cushions and chairs as they listened to the different speakers, it seems like a great way of getting people engaged with current issues.
As the sun began to set we spotted the perfect place to watch it…
After a couple of cheeky cocktails it was time to head for the main stage to watch Sigur Ros who were headlining the festival. We both munched down on some deliciously naughty hot dogs and listened to the ethereal music lull us into a lazy Sunday evening mood. Citadel definitely lived up to and exceeded our expectations and is one I would highly recommend as a great day festival, perfect for couples and families alike. Now all I have to do is think about which festival to do next and more importantly which multi-coloured jacket to wear to it!