After surviving the unforgiving cesspit that was Glastonbury less than a month ago, as well as the biblical downpours of Field Day, my friend grins at me behind glinting sunglasses and mutters something wistfully about “being abroad”; in other words, we’ve worked hard for a festival basking in sunnier climes, something that Citadel dutifully provides.
While the snaking queues for every bar, toilet and food vendor seem at odds with the hazy Sunday vibe that it’s so desperate to conjure, there’s plenty on offer to salvage Citadel from the festival scrapheap. For starters, much has been made of the striking roster of live music on offer, a lineup of mouthwatering variety, and many of the acts translate extremely well in the flesh. If it’s giddy fun you seek, search out The 2 Bears, a hidden, offbeat treat within the darkened confines of the Fabric tent, whereas Maribou State are purveyors of a purposeful and surprisingly slick set in an opposite corner of the site. While Susanne Sundfør is utterly captivating in a deserved Main Stage slot, it is Tom Misch that shines during a mid-afternoon lull, his sumptuous delivery and meandering grooves reminiscent of a crowd pleasing King Krule.
With so much jostling for your attention, it’s almost too easy to get sidetracked. My inner skater spies the roller disco but quickly slaloms from my mind, which is probably best for everyone nearby, whilst the Sunday Papers Live segment is enticing enough to drag us away from the main stages for brief respite.
Due to our curiosity, we miss the beginning of Caribou (the Rum Relay Races are the only activities that’ll have me rushing anywhere, I’m afraid), which is fine as nobody seems that bothered anyway. The mood is flat until ‘Sun’, perhaps because it repeats today’s buzzword, when Dan Snaith and his impressive band finally evoke the rapturous response they deserve.
The site shuts down in honour of tonight’s headliners, the majestic Sigur Ros, and the trio demonstrate why their show is worthy of the greater scrutiny. Is there a live act that currently flits between tranquility and brooding intensity with such remarkable ease? It concludes the day on a triumphant note and, at a time when so many festivals are greeted with a shrug, many in attendance are already looking ahead to Citadel 2017.