Spain’s Premier Rock and Indie Rock Festival
The summer season of musical festivals is well underway throughout Spain, one of the most anticipated and most important on the national calendar is Mad Cool that takes place in Madrid during mid-July. In the run up to August, the traditional time when most people in Spain take their holidays, locals and visitors to the capital city are keen to get into the party mood. And parties don’t come any bigger and more spectacular than Mad Cool which this year takes place between July 12th and 14th at Valdebebas.
Alternative, Indie and Rock
With a line up that could be described as a who’s who of contemporary rock music that includes an eclectic mix of sub-genres with headlining acts featuring grunge and alternative rock Pearl Jam on Thursday the 12th July; indie rock legends Artic Monkeys on Friday the 13th July and veterans of electronic sounds Depeche Mode together with Queens of Stone Age on Saturday 14th July. Mad Cool includes a number of stages and spaces that will include bands, solo artists and Djs kicking off each evening of the festival at 6 PM and going on into the wee small hours of the following morning (till 4.30 AM), every evening there is literally something for everyone, whatever their musical tastes. A marathon of music that will include more than 100 concerts over its three days and gives a platform to emerging talents as much as established musical icons, as is clear from even a summary glance a its programme.
The festival precinct, located at Avenida de las Fuerzas Armadas, s/n includes a restaurant area, Mad Cool gallery exhibition space, safe space, shopping and merchandising as well as first aid facilities.
Mad Cool started in 2015
The first edition of Mad Cool was held in 2015, organisers of the festival wanted to provide a showcase for rock and alternative rock music which rapidly became the biggest festival of its kind in Spain. In 2017 Mad Cool was held at the Caja Mágica (magic box) venue, a multipurpose stadium designed by architect Dominique Perrault located in the San Fermín neighbourhood (Usera, Madrid) but this year all the concerts will be held at Valdebebas on the outskirts of the city.
A new home for the festival
With more than 240,000 ticket sales projected for the 2018 edition of the festival the decision to move to Valdebebas was taken for logistical reasons. Valdebebas is a new urban zone located approximately 8 km from Plaza de Castilla in north-eastern Madrid, between the city centre and Barajas Airport, adjacent to Ifema (where the city’s trade fairs are held). An open space measuring 100,000 sq.m. that can accommodate up to 80,000 people. Accessible by metro, the Línea 8 will run all night for the duration of the festival and EMT (Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid) will also lay on special buses from Plaza de Castilla between midnight and 6 AM every night.
Tickets can be obtained direct from the Mad Cool web (www.madcoolfestival.es) or from usual outlets Ticket Master, Festicket as well as FNAC, Halcón Viajes and Carrefour.
Access to the festival is via wristband which is supplied at the festival ticket booth on presentation of a printed ticket from authorised dealers. Children under eight are welcome if they have purchased a ticket and are accompanied by an adult (parent of legal guardian). Discounts are available with Club Mad Cool membership, see web for details.
The Viladebebas precinct can be reached by Metro (Línea 8, purple line) the stop is Feria de Madrid (previously known as Campo de las Naciones). By train, C1, Cercanías Renfe as well as the special bus service laid on by Mad Cool leaving from Plaza de Castilla, and Madrid’s taxi service.
Other Useful information
Rock n’Roll & Foodies
For festival visitors who want to combine gastronomy and rock music we highly recommend lunch and/or dinner at Ático Restaurant (The Principal Madrid) and Ramón Freixa Madrid (Único Hotel Madrid), the latter with 2 Michelin Stars and 3 Repsol ‘Suns’ and the former with one Repsol ‘Suns’. Either restaurant provides a great opportunity for foodies to experience the intuitive Mediterranean cuisine of one of Spain’s most renowned chefs. While Ático is ideal for a less formal dining experience Ramón Freixa Madrid is a full on gastronomic delight where the chef shows his Rock n’Roll avant-garde approach that combines creative technique with the utmost respect for raw material.