If you were looking for a big-name-bands European festival, that also has enough interesting indie artists that you still haven’t heard of, in one of the greatest European capitals, then why aren’t you going to Mad Cool Festival? Yes, whilst the festival’s big name headliners (form the 6th-8th of June) of Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Kings Of Leon make it seem like this would be better named “Dad Rock’s Still Cool Festival”; you know you actually want to see Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Kings Of Leon playing through their greatest hits, in a capital city where summer temperatures can reach close to 40° Celsius.
In fact, take a second to go slightly beyond the headliners and you’ll find a really solid lot of rock artists, ranging from longstanding working bands like Spoon; there are the up-and-coming garage rock derring-doers of Benjamin Booker and Deap Vally; even some from the indie/alternative scene such as Warpaint, Wolf Alice, and festival favourites Foals. Considering this is only the second go-round for Mad Cool since they launched in 2016, it’s a legitimately great, surprising line-up, which manages to be both a clearly focused ‘rock’ music festival, but has enough curve-balls around the edges of the genre (for instance, if alt-J’s new album RELAXER proves anything it’s that the funky guitar driven ‘Left Hand Free’ lead from This Is All Yours was entirely the outlier; meanwhile M.I.A. is a straight-up rap genre veteran) to make things exciting. This is the sort of precise, interesting assortment of artists that genre nerds and the new music starved alike will equally get a kick out of.
The organisers are aiming for something which can go beyond the music, allowing the city and the environment to work together as partners, in a sustainable and responsible way. This is a big city festival, without the stress or mess of camping – though that means the stress of finding hostels or Airbnbs – since it’ll be taking place in ‘La Caja Mágica’. That’s Spanish for ‘The Magic Box’, a sports centre best described as a multipurpose stadium, with three courts and several retractable roofs. Right next to the small Lozoya river, south of the capital’s central limits in the San Fermin district, easily accessed by taking the very central line 3 metro on a 20 minute journey, Mad Cool Festival has all the musical excitement of a Reading or Leeds, but the ease of Common People.
Mad Cool Festival takes place from 7th-9th of June in Madrid, Spain. Find out more information here