Madrid’s Mad Cool is still in its infancy, the festival is going into only its third year and on paper has delivered possibly the hottest festival line-up in Europe this summer.
Last year, the sounds of Alt-J, Foals, Kings of Leon, Kurt Vile, Ryan Adams and Warpaint graced the Spanish stage and this year’s star-studded line-up which features Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala to name just two, it looks like 2018 is set to be the biggest Mad Cool Festival yet.
For 2018, taking place July 12th-14th, the festival is moving to a new larger site, the 100,000 square metre site will accommodate 80,000 festival goers each day which is a 35,000 increase on last year’s capacity. The new site is situated at Valdebebas which is near the Ifema, north of Madrid.
Mad Cool is Madrid’s answer to Barcelona’s beloved Primavera Sound Festival, and this year the capital are going all out to upstage their little brother Barcelona. There’s no camping available at the festival so if going a weekend without a shower sounds like your idea of hell and a weekend in the picturesque Spanish capital listening to awesome live music sounds fun then Mad Cool is probably the festival for you.
The festival previously had five stages, two of which are massive outdoor stages however; there are three fairly intimate stages so make sure you arrive to these stages extra early to avoid disappointment. However; with the new larger site the number of stages this year will be increased to seven, which means more music and less time queuing!
The festival has got tons of bands on the bill who are of the pedigree to headline any festival such as Jack White, Queens of The Stone Age, Massive Attack, Tame Impala and former Glastonbury headliners Kasabian who’ve all proven themselves to be exceptional live acts and are some of the most acclaimed artists in the world of music.
Festival goers certainly won’t feel short-changed with the festival costing only 150 Euro’s which is significantly cheaper than English alternatives like Reading and Leeds for example which this year will be headlined by Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy. Whereas, Mad Cool will be headlined by Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys, the legendary Pearl Jam and the one and only Depeche Mode as well as a ton more of incredible talent, plus you can soak up the sun.
FAR OUT PICKS
Here’s some of Far Out’s picks from lower on the line-up, it’s not all just the headliners at festivals, it’s also about finding your new favourite band or re-igniting your love for an old act who you have thrown to the waste-side over the years.
The Mercury award-winning Scottish trio are set to release their new album Cocoa Sugar in time for festival season and if new track ‘In My View’ is anything to go by, their third record won’t disappoint and will be special live. In 2016, the group linked up with Massive Attack for ‘Voodoo In My Blood’ and supported the Bristol band on their world tour, both acts are performing on the Friday of the festival so don’t be surprised to see the Edinburgh boys join the trip-hop legends on stage at Mad Cool.
After five years of silence from MGMT, last week the duo released their long-awaited fourth album Little Dark Age which has been received well by fans and critics alike. They’ll be bringing their hits from to Madrid with them such as ‘Kids’, ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Time To Pretend’ which will sound great in the Spanish sunshine.
The Big Moon
Following an impressive 2017 which saw the quartet release their Mercury nominated debut Love In The 4th Dimension, The Big Moon will be bringing a big old slice of indie to Spain and you won’t want to miss them.
French funk heroes Justice will be making the trip to Spain this summer, the duo will be bringing their trademark Parisian sound to Madrid and are still as exciting as ever.
The delightful sounds of Kevin Morby is a perfect fit for any festival, enjoy Mr Morby and his band’s brand of alternative folk rock with a cold beer or two in the Spanish capital, sounds like a perfect mix to me.
The festival starts on Thursday 12th July and finishes with a set from Depeche Mode on Saturday 14th July in Valdebebas which is just north of Madrid. Three day tickets are currently sold out but day tickets and VIP packages are available. For more information visit Mad Cool’s website.
Check out Far Out’s Essential Mad Cool Playlist to get you ready in the mood for summer and festival season.