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Why you should book a trip to this year’s Mad Cool Festival

All the reasons you should consider a soak in the Spanish sun at Madrid's leading music festival next month

By Rolling Stone UK

Main stage at MAD COOL Festival
Main stage at MAD COOL Festival. (Picture: Andres Iglesias)

Whilst there’s many things we all love about our UK festivals there’s certainly some things we’d change: the unpredictable British weather, the unpredictable British food… Along with the costs of some UK festivals there’s plenty of us on this fair isle now looking further abroad for our festival fix.

Mad Cool Festival, with its 2023 line-up this July featuring the likes of Lizzo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lil Nas X, Rina Sawayama, Robbie Williams, Nova Twins and more, takes place in Spain’s sun-soaked interior and ultra cool capital, Madrid.

Book tickets for Mad Cool Festival (6-8 July) via the official Mad Cool site here.

With a world-class line-up, a weekend ticket for MAD COOL can be snagged for as little as €195 (£166.70). That’s half the price of Glastonbury at around €381 (£335) and a chunk cheaper than the Isle of Wight Festival at around €256 (£225). A lot of these UK festivals’ big name artists, such as Lizzo, Robbie Williams, Lil Nas X, Rina Sawayama and more can all be seen at MAD COOL.

If you need convincing to leave your waterproof and wellies at home this year, here’s some more of what an overseas festival like MAD COOL has to offer.

The festival is putting on its own MAD COOL flight with Iberia Express, leaving from London Gatwick to Madrid on 5 July, with 10 per cent off the fare by booking here. Along with budget airlines flying direct from locations including Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool, the city is very accessible from the UK.

(Picture: Andres Iglesias)


With a slim chance of any rain and a fully AstroTurfed site, there’s no mud at MAD COOL to worry about. The average daytime temperature in Madrid during the festival is around 30 degrees celsius, with nighttimes staying at a warm and comfortable 20 degrees. There’s plenty of purpose built shade around the festival site, loads of free water points and dozens of bars to keep you hydrated.

The festival doesn’t get fully underway with its first acts until around 4pm when the midday heat is starting to subside. In our books, this is another big plus as mornings and early afternoons can be spent exploring Madrid or by a poolside somewhere nearby. With the new location easily accessible for festival goers, MAD COOL’s new site is located close to the Villaverde Alto Metro station, as well as locations for buses, taxis and car parking.

Late start

Madrid rightly has a reputation as one of the coolest capitals in Europe, so when you’re there, why not Madrid like a local? It’s home to a vibrant music scene with venues for flamenco, such as Cardamomo and Las Tablas, through to hip-hop and indie rock at Costello Club and Sala Siroco. Madrid is a city that doesn’t sleep, hosting a range of world-renowned clubs such as Medias Puri, Lula Club and Joy Eslava for those looking to keep the party going after the festival ends. 

If you’re more of an early bird, MAD COOL’s later start would allow you to explore the many galleries, museums and landmarks that Madrid has to offer, such as the impressive National Gallery or the sprawling Prado Museum. As for shopping, Madrid has everything from major international luxury brands, traditional shops, and world-famous markets such as El Rastro flea market and Mercado de la Paz for food. 

As a region, Madrid is safe, open to all, fun, and tolerant. It is a recognised LGBTIQ+ destination and the Madrid Gay Pride Festival in early July has rightfully become an important part of the city’s social calendar.

(Picture: Paco Poyato)

Local talent

We live in a world where non-English language music is rising to the forefront. From Rosalía, Bad Bunny and Nathy Peluso, Spanish is becoming the new cool language of pop. Not only proud to present a stellar line up of international English language artists, MAD COOL hosts a wide range of Spanish singers, bands and performers. From Sila Lua’s electronic sound, the breezy pop Cupido or the genre-defying Ralphie Choo, a ticket to MAD COOL could see you watching the world’s next biggest pop stars.


As with many countries across Europe, Spain takes its food very seriously, with Madrid being Spain’s food capital and home to 154 Michelin star restaurants. Locals might recommend La Rayúa Gran Vía or LA BOLA for traditional Madrid dishes, Bodega de la Ardosa for tapas and beer, or Café Comercial for a classic Madrileño evening out.

The city’s gastronomic acumen is well reflected at MAD COOL. With all food outlets placed together in one easily navigable food court, there’s over 50 food trucks catering for even the most discerning tastes with flavours from Spain, Asia, Latin America and beyond. Vegetarian, vegan and lactose and gluten free dietary requirements are all well catered for as well.


While every festival at home or abroad has something unique to offer on top of the music, MAD COOL goes the extra mile – whether it’s the street art tour around the festival site or the installation and experiences from the range of brand partners. It could be watching the Spanish sun set behind the mountains from the main stage or gazing at the twinkling lights of Madrid from the top of the famous MAD COOL Ferris Wheel.

(Picture: Andres Iglesias)

So if incredible weather, fantastic food, intoxicating culture and a ridiculously packed line up of the world’s best music acts for an affordable price sounds like your thing, then it might be time to seriously consider fanning the festival fever overseas this year.

If that is the case then look no further than Spain, Madrid and MAD COOL Festival. Grab some tickets, book a flight, and pack a bag. Just remember to leave out the wellies at home.

Book tickets for Mad Cool Festival via the official MAD COOL site here.