MAD COOL: the newest kid on the block of festivals is back with an impressive lineup

If you like cities with a vibrant and varied nightlife that keeps you partying past sunrise, you would love Madrid. And if you love music as much as we do, you should mark these dates on your calendar because Mad Cool is coming back bigger, brighter and stronger to the Spanish capital on July 12th, 13th, and 14th. At FestPop, we tell you everything you need to know!


The 3rd edition of Mad Cool has one of the most impressive lineups seen in Europe in the last few years. Rumors had it right: Arctic Monkeys has recently confirmed its participation. The British band is the last headliner added to a list of over 100 acts already confirmed, making this event jump right up to the top of must-attend festivals this summer.

Mad Cool lineup


What makes Mad Cool so cool?

It is much more than a music festival with a powerful lineup or, as our friends at Consequence Of Sound call it, the World´s Best Rock Festival; Mad Cool is a colorful festival of performing arts. With a new location for this year, an enormous venue (100.000 square meters) will host 80.000 attendees per day, 7 different stages, an independent artist gallery, a design market, food area and many more amenities. For swag lovers and deal hunters, we expect plenty of fun merchandising and experiences from the sponsoring brands. The best part? They are free. Last year, for instance, a streaming video platform we adore was giving away free permanent tattoos. The aim was to make it a summer to remember -quite literally- for the rest of your life.

Photos: Mad Cool 2017’s entry by Daniel Muñoz


What to expect from Mad Cool 2018?

We can’t promise its characteristic Ferris wheel will come back this year. But we guarantee world-class artists coming from every corner of the world and a variety of music genres suitable for all tastes, albeit especially tailored to rock lovers.

The opening night, when Seattle band Pearl Jam will be rocking the main stage, is an opportunity to hear Eels’ new album, get crazy with Kasabian and Tame Impala, sing “Kids” with MGMT, and dance ‘till dawn with the electric live of Justice or the techno of Maya Jane Coles.

On Friday, Alex Turner’s band Arctic Monkeys will make its only stop in Madrid during their World Tour (get on your dancing shoes, baby). Other acts we are looking forward to see are: the -always-surprising Jack White (former lead singer of The White Stripes), Franz Ferdinand who always deliver a great show, Alice in Chains and At the Drive-In because we can’t help but love the 90’s sound. We are also excited to see electronic groups like American-duo Odesza and the mythical Massive Attack.

To top it all up, on closing day prepare to vibrate with the contagious energy of the legendary Depeche Mode, Queens of the Stone Age and NIN. You can also expect to fall in love with the romantic Jack Johnson, sing the famous “Lost on you” from LP and hallucinate with the Canadian producer Richie Hawtin, who will present his audio-visual show titled “CLOSE”. And after 11 years from their last visit to Spain, australian brothers Nic and Chris Cester (Jet) will make you dance to the rhythm of their timeless hit Are You Gonna Be My Girl?.

But if you don’t have enough, 31 artists announced on Monday Feb 6th including Bayonne and Post Malone (USA), DJ Koze and Paul Kalkbrenner (Germany)Weval (Holand), Lali Puna (Korea), James Holden, Slaves, Underworld, Alex Francis and Actress (England), Holy Bouncer and Iván Ferreiro (Spain), and Dua Lipa.

Photo: Mad Cool 2017 by Daniel Muñoz

Top 10 acts

Below is our shortlist of artists you don’t want to miss because there is much to see besides the headliners:
Rag’n’Bone Man, have you heard his voice? Well I’m only human after all 😉

James Bay, more than 200 million views can’t be wrong.

Snow Patrol, yes, we need to hear one more time “Chasing Cars”.

The Big Moon, a perfect mix of rock and love; seriously, couldn’t be better

Rufus T.Firefly, playing home, this group from Madrid will perform one of the best Spanish albums of 2017

Slaves, because Krystel loves good ol’ British punk rock

Re-TROS, if a experimental Chinese rock band isn’t exotic, we don’t know what is

James Holden & The Animal Spirits: the sound of a free jazz ensemble sprinkled with synth-programmed sounds the artist described as “folk-trance”

Post Malone, one of the most acclaimed celebrities of recent years brings a coctail of sounds with a powerful fusion of country, grunge, rap and R&B. 4 million daily plays cannot be wrong

Cora Novoa an icon of electronic music in Spain and first woman to win Best DJ of Year at the Vicious Awards. A true #GirlBoss

Photo: Mad Cool 2017 by Daniel Muñoz


Other highlights

We hope at this point you are convinced to join us for this fun event. But if you are still hesitant, here is a list of other things to consider:

  • Good music, beautiful people, the sun shining and a cold beer – do we need to say more?
  • Last editions, Mad Cool sold out the 45.000 tickets four months before the event. With more than six months to go, 3-day passes for this year are already sold out. But please don’t cry as a few one-day tickets and VIP passess are still on sale, so hurry up and don’t say we didn’t warn you!!

Photo: Mad Cool 2017 by Daniel Muñoz

  • Forget to sleep in an uncomfortable tent. The venue is only a 30 minutes train ride away from the city center, which means taking a shower won’t be an adventure. Besides, this is a great opportunity to indulge in delicious Spanish cuisine. Also, we have heard nothing but praise about the quality and maintenance of the toilets. They are lit, spacious, and surprisingly CLEAN!! We have even found toilet paper and antibacterial gel. The best part? You rarely saw female queuing because there were toilets all over the place. Definitely, a lesson for other festivals to learn.
  • Like in others European festivals, last year a big storm stroke during the first night but, seriously, in Madrid you don’t need to wear a raincoat – the less you wear during summer in here, the better.
  • From veteran headbangers to teenage pseudo-hipsters attending their first festival, in Mad Cool 2018 everyone is welcome. It´s Madrid, after all.


P.s.: Bring at least 3 sunglasses (one per day) because you know when you start the day, but you never know when you will finish it.


Bact to FestPop


Sr. Editor, Europe, Krystel Bendahan and Sr. Editor, Europe, Daniel Muñoz

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