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.
Spain’s Premier Rock and Indie Rock Festival
The summer season of musical festivals has already gotten underway in Spain, one of the most anticipated and most important on the national calendar is Mad Cool that takes place in Madrid during mid-July. The festival made the headlines in 2018 for all the wrong reasons with major delays in accessing some of the concerts. However this year changes have been made with restrictions on ticket sales, one less stage (six in total) and better public toilet and public transport arrangements. Mad Cool will take place between July 11th and 13th at Valdebebas.
Alternative, Indie and Rock
The 2018 edition of Mad Cool was recognised with an NME Festival Award for best festival musical line up and this year will not disappoint fans of alternative, indie and rock music either. The international acts include headliners drawn from around the world, the first night of the festival, Thursday July 11th features the American indie folk band Bon Iver, Noel Gallagher with his band the Highflying Birds as well as Vampire Weekend. While the following Friday night performances are dominated by American rock bands like The National and the renowned Smashing Pumpkins back after a long absence with a new album and tour. The closing night of the festival features the English band the Cure, The 1975 and Greta Van Fleet. See the official web site for a complete listing of all the bands and performers.
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.
A new venue for a growing festival
Ever since the first edition of Mad Cool was held in 2015 it has become the premier showcase for rock, folk rock and alternative rock music on the festival circuit in Spain. Since 2018 all the concerts are being held at Valdebebas on the outskirts of the city. With more than 240,000 ticket sold for the 2018 edition of the festival Valdebebas is the ideal location with its wide open esplanade within 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). This year for the duration of the festival the organisers are laying on free transport back to Madrid city centre between 1.30 am and 5.30 am.
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 or can be delivered to you before hand. 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.