Celebrating its third outing this year, London’s brightest new festival Citadel welcomed the masses to its doors for a Sunday soiree full of fun and frolics.
On entering the arena just past noon, we made a beeline to the Arts Studio, which offered a cacophony of craftiness throughout the afternoon. Though intriguing workshops as “Icing As Art with BKD” and “Get Rich or Tie Dying with Lizzie King” weren’t due to kick off until later in the day; we weren’t to be disappointed. On our arrival we were greeted by the mystical haze of spray paint and glitter as a growing crowd took to the grass to over-enthusiastically decorate a plethora of pineapples.
Luckily enough, we managed to secure two of the last coveted pineapples as part of “Pimp My Pineapple” with the gang at Christabels, much to the chagrin of some pineapple-loving latecomers (they were later allowed to go in and have a look at some of the completed pineapple artworks. Then, once satisfied by the high calibre of the exhibits, promptly left again).
We meanwhile, took to the table and began our tropical fruit customization. Ten minutes and several super glued fingers later, we had completed our creations. With gold jewels and feather accouterments to the max, we felt this really was our pineapples’ moment to shine and experience Citadel and all its fantastic wonders. So we tucked our fancy fruit under our arms and embarked into the festival abyss.
First stop was for some much needed fuel and we munched on some delicious mac & cheese from Mac To The Future, washed down with a refreshing G&T courtesy of Fever Tree’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic Bar. From their high up balcony bar, we surveyed the nearby spaces such as Science Camp, which promised some rather interesting events later in the day, exploring such topics as “Is Virtual Reality A Good Idea?” and “Lust, Sex & Brains & Sensory Adventures in Dating”.
Alas the main stage began to then beckon us to the tune of Maggie Rogers, whose addictive melodies had already drawn in a large crowd. As enamoured as we were by her exquisite folk electronica, we were equally taken by her colourful jumpsuit, which we noted also perfectly complemented our pineapples.
Next we ventured further into the festival, where we engaged in some pineapple yoga at the Corona Sunsets Stage to the summery soundtrack of Cal Jader and The Pomba Girls, whose tropical bass beats induced some impressive pineapple headstands as well as flurry of photograph-taking from nearby pineapples “phans”.
Sadly we lost one pineapple as one too many over energetic pineapple poses resulted in a pool of pineapple juice. Not to be dismayed however, we retreated to the nearby “Ministry of Happy” who, on revealing our recent bereavement, prescribed us with a piece of tin foil…. or rather, a “Silver Lining”.
Sure enough, our one remaining pineapple soon reached new heights of fame as now all attention was funneled in its direction. Yes, if you ever wish to experience life as an A-List celebrity, then walk around a festival for a day carrying a bejazzled pineapple. We lost track of how many people commented on our glamorous fruit as we walked past. Multiple strangers asked if they could take photographs of us with the pineapple. We even engaged in the odd filmed interview discussing the illustrious origins of said pineapple. We felt like Britney Spears circa 2002.
After appeasing the crowd, we did what any other celebrity would do and took to the roller skate rink for a Roller Hoedown. Yes, if you ever wanted to see a man roller-skating playing a violin while his comrades line – danced around him, this was the place to do it
Following some dizzying spins around the rink (and dodging the occasional fallen hero), we traversed back to the main stage to sample the delights of Wild Beasts. Following a captivating set we went on the hunt for more food and were delighted to discover Buddha Bowl and their tasty veggie bowls, which we promptly devoured. The discoveries didn’t end there however. When yet another member of the Pineapple Posse approached us for a chat, she revealed to us HYH favourite Ben Howard has a new band – A Blaze of Feather. What’s more, we were just in time to watch them start their set at the nearby Kasbah with Clash & last. Fm stage. That’s what’s so great about Citadel. It really does have an excellently curated line-up of not just the music-land big guns; but also a fantastic array of up and coming musical discoveries waiting around every glittery corner.
As the sun began to set, we caught the end of an excellent set by Bonobo. Then the crowd began to thicken even further as headliners the Foals took to the stage. At this point, the pineapple was looking a little worse for wear following its day’s excursions and no doubt this was to be its final hoorah. Raised to the depleting sun like the sword of a warrior about to embark on the battle of all battles, we knifed through the crowd to gain a closer look. Poised in our newfound position, the band took to the stage for an almighty set. Simultaneously, nearby Foals fans were also transformed into Pineapple People as they took turns fist pumping the pineapple in time to the energetic tracks.
Unfortunately one fan clearly forgot to eat his dinner and took a bite out of the pineapple. This was highly not recommended, as he not only consumed a chunk of gold paint but potentially a mini furry pom pom or two. We contemplated going to First Aid, but then we thought the First Aider would probably not have a spare bandage for a pineapple.
And so came the end of the glorious day of the pineapple. As we waved goodbye to the incredible Foals and with it, Citadel; all we can say is we cannot wait until next year’s adventures at the festival. We also ponder -what will the fruit du jour next year be?
Words by Aideen Shannon