Mad cool festival 2019, beyond music

Celebrating art in all its forms was the leitmotiv behind the launching of Mad Cool four years ago. In this short time, Mad Cool has become one of the world’s most relevant music festivals. In 2018 it received an award by NME Magazine at its VO5 NME Festival Awards in the category “Best Line Up” and, more recently, in March 2019 scored Arthur Awards in the category “New Gig on the Block!”, establishing Madrid as a leading capital of live music. Save the dates: July 11-13th and join FestPop in these lines below to learn the Ins&Outs of Mad Cool 2019 in Madrid.

The Venue

The festival city is a pseudo-theme park that features its iconic ferris wheel and the greenest grass under a boiling Spanish sun. There are food trucks serving international delights, booths sponsored by well-known brands that offer perks such as free manicure, or beer.

As we reported before, Mad Cool moved to new premises for its last edition to Valdebebas (a new area in the outskirts of Madrid capital). 196,000 square metres with capacity for 80,000 people showed spectacular growth of the event. However, organizers will be looking to make notable changes to its on-site production plans for this year. This includes downsizing the number of tickets sold on each day of the event, and providing all ticket-holders with free transport back to Madrid.

The experience

Michael Lang said in 2016 that Mad Cool was the sensible evolution of Woodstock. The festival he created 47 years earlier was a mad idea that gathered almost half a million people. It changed the way we enjoy music.

At Mad Cool, music merges with design, photography and other arts to create a cheerful, colorful, and fresh atmosphere. It aims to offer a remarkable experience for any generation or background. Even if you dont like music, you would enjoy attending Mad Cool 2019, which will happen from 11th to 13th July. We promise Social-Media-ready photos. In fact, there is a VIP lounge where you can come accross artists and influencers from the local and international scene.

For the 4th year, Mad Cool gives a platform for emerging artists to get exposure and kickstar a thriving career in music. With applications of more than 1000 bands from 29 countries, we expect an spectacular debut for the winners of Mad Cool Talent competition.

Line Up

The ultimate warm-up session is the official Welcome Party on July 10th. With hottest new artist of the year Rosalia, aka the Spanish Beyonce, leading the lineup alongside as Bring me the Horizon, the party will host a reduced audience. International acts of the day at the different 4 stages include nordic Likke Li, Metronomy, The Cat Empire, Don Broco, The Amazons, Viagra Boys, Whispering Sons, Griz, The Parrots, Anier, Fusa Nocta, Blake and Favx, as well as the winners of “Mad Cool Talent” (to be announced).

Headliners for Mad Cool festival on July 11th-13th include: The National, Bon Iver, The Cure, Propehts of Rage and the Smashing Pumpkins. Other not-to-miss acts feature artists such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Empire of the Sun, MARINA and Cat Power. This musical feast ranges from queer punk disco by Gossip to indie-rock by American Authors, electronic music by Tourist or funk-rock by Demob Happy.

FestPop’s picks

Last year, I must confess, I had the most fun attending shows at the satellite stages – the ones for secondary acts. Headliners were the bomb indeed, yet, I enjoy the sentiment of intimacy being at the front row of a small (in comparison to the big stage’s) crowd. I cannot tell you yet which stages to visit, but here is my list of favorite artists to watch:

  • Rosalia – For sure you have one of her songs stuck in your head by now. If not, think flamenco meets trap meets pop-rock. The local queen, you cannot miss it #tratra
  • Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Disclosure and Chemichal Brothers – I am starting big on Thursday. Hence, I am praying to all the G-ds in the 7 kingdoms that their performances wont clash. Here we go!
  • The National – The 2017 Grammy winners will play their new album ‘I Am Easy To Find’. It is the only concert they will have in Spain this year, so you have been warned!
  • Sharon Van Etten – This chamaleonic artist also features at the National’s latest album. I cant wait to dance to her indie folk rock beats, although her appeareance my be linked to the band’s show
  • Vetusta Morla – I’ve seen them 3 times in the past year and they never dissapoint. Come watch this local pop-rock band, you are in Spain after all.

How to make the most out of the experience at Mad Cool 2019

  1. Manage your time (and energy) wisely – It is common (or a rookie mystake even) to feel frenzied the first day of the festival and run from one stage to the other not to miss anything. Plan ahead your agenda and allow for enough time to ‘’commute’’ between stages. Rest during the day, there are plenty of activities to do besides listening to every single artist – it can get pretty exhausting. We hope they are keeping the mobile app this year as it had a favorite/reminder option we found quite useful to keep track of both acts and time.
  2. Sunscreen, sunglasess and a big hat are your best friends – Although free hats and fans were provided last year by sponsors, you should never count on them matching your festival outfit nor that they will be available by the time you enter the venue. Sundown in Madrid can happen as late as 10pm. That means over 12 hours of intense sunlight daily. #BeMadCooler
  3. Keep hidrated – We are not joking about how dry summer is in Madrid. The grass may be green but the heat may dry you out like a cactus in the desert. Love the tan, not the headache.

If you prefer to discover new artists, forget about planning ahead and just enjoy!!

Bonus Tip: We highly recommend you take advantage of your visit to Madrid by exploring its cultural offer and absolute food delights. Plan some extra days! Madrid’s goverment put together great free guides about Art and Food in Madrid (hit us up to grab them).

More Info and tickets:

See you at the dance floor(s) of #MadCool2019 and hope you enjoy to read our review after the festival in which we will make you feel as if you were there, and if you were indeed, we will help you relive the experience.

Love, peace and music!

About me

Hello! I am Krys – my friends call me kiki. Follow me while we discover the best music festivals of Spain and beyond.

FestPop Sr. Editor Europe, Krystel Bendahan

All photos: Mad Cool 2018 by Krystel Bendahan

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