Mad Cool: Going through history

Mad Cool 2018
Photo: Robin Noordhoek / Festileaks

Mad Cool, celebrated in Madrid in July since 2016, is the 6th Spanish festival with most attendance, of 185.000 in 2019. The program is eclectic, with rock, indie, pop, electronic and more. It also includes a combination of arts, fashion and gastronomy. It is impressive how fast the festival has grown, although its debut was already huge. Let’s talk about Mad Cool through the ages.

Artists & music genres

Through the ages, the lineup has not changed much. From the beginning, there were mostly international and indie-rock. In 2016, the headliners were The Who, The Prodigy, Bastille, Two Door Cinema Club and Vetusta Morla, one of the few Spanish bands that performed. The next year, the lineup was pretty similar, with bands such as Green Day, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Foals, The Lumineers. In 2018 and 2019, only a few artists added were in a different music scene: Kase.O, Alizzz, Jorja Smith.

2021 is probably the year of change. Even though the lineup is still primarily indie and rock with Placebo, Twenty One Pilots, The Killers and Red Hot Chilli Peppers as headliners, others genres gained foot at Mad Cool, in major spots. Major Lazer, Aleesha, Natos y Waor, Hard Gz, Diplo and Cardi B are some of them.

Amount of attendants

Foto: Sergio Albert

Mad Cool is the 6th biggest festival in Spain, and its progress in just four years is obvious. The first edition, the festival brought together more than 100.000 attendants. A year later, Mad Cool sold out three months before the festival and congregated 135.000 people. They reached the peak in 2018 with 240.000 festivalgoers, the same year they changed their location. Even more people were willing to attend. Even though the festival has experienced a growth since it was born, in the last edition (2019), only 185.000 people attended to the festival. This year, because of the sanitary measures, only 60.000 people per day will be able to attend. In spite of it, the numbers will be pretty good.

Change of location

Mad Cool
Photo: Andres Iglesias (Mad Cool 2018)

When Mad Cool was born, it was celebrated in Caja Mágica. It is a multifunctional stadium for sports, concerts and other events, located in the south of Madrid. In its 3rd edition, the festival moved to Ifema, located in the north of the city and focused on events, conferences and exhibitions. This new area for the festival was named ‘Espacio Mad Cool’. It has 100.000 m2 and can host 80.000 people. Even though the change was necessary, problems came up in the first year at this location: long queues at the entrance and the bar because of technology problems, a bus from the festival suspended on a bridge, Massive Attack decided not to play because of sound issues with other bands, and more. Apart from that, everyone was happy and satisfied with Mad Cool 2018.

The reason why they changed the location is that the festival clearly needed a bigger space, to take in more people and let the festival evolve as it needed. The collaboration between the Community of Madrid and the City Council allowed this improvement and the growth, also making Madrid a musical city increasing tourism.

Valuable sponsorships & collaborations

In the last years, Mad Cool attracted a lot of interest from brands. The reasons? The huge number of attendants and the rise of music and festivals in our culture. Festivals get the attention of a lot of companies, especially from international ones. Everyone wants to ride the wave. In 2016, when Mad Cool started, the main sponsorships were Mahou, BBVA, Red Bull, Smart and more. A year later, a few ones joined the club like Coca Cola or the City Council of Madrid. Counting with this last partner was an absolute key, allowing the festival to expand itself, change the location and act as a Madrilenian Ambassador. Finally, Iberia, Community of Madrid and Banco Santander joined as sponsors.

The most special partner is the brewery Mahou. That goes without saying. Mad Cool and the brand work together on some another project: Mad Cool Talent by Vibra Mahou. It is a competition between small bands and the winner will be playing at the festival joining the lineup. Mahou also promotes itself at the festival with original actions. To find out more about this, visit our article ‘Promoting brands at festivals’ and you will discover some other collaborations.

If you want to read more about Mad Cool 2021, here are 5 reasons why Cardi B is the perfect headliner.

Mad Cool 2021

Photo: Paco Poyato (Mad Cool 2018)

Mad Cool is an annual festival that takes place in Madrid, Spain. Only at its fifth edition, it is already one of the biggest festivals in Spain. In five years, The Cure, Rosalía, The Who, Empire of the Sun or The National played at the event in Madrid. Mad Cool 2021 will be a big one!

  • Location: Madrid, Spain.
  • Date: 7-10 July 2021.
  • Tickets: 4-day, 3-day and single-day tickets are on sale.
  • For more information, visit the official website.

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Mad Cool 2025

Madrid, Spanje
Datum 9-13 juli 2025
Nog niet bekend.
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