Fast becoming one of Europe’s top choices for a riff-heavy weekender, here’s 7 artists to check out at Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival.

Mad Cool Festival is soon to open its doors to its third edition – and this time it’s serious. The past couple of years have seen the festival build huge momentum, its growing reputation resulting in this year’s location move from Caja Mágica to North Madrid’s Valdebebas, a venue with space for a further 35,000 fans (80,000 in total). With additional stages, Mad Cool – this year – is bigger than ever, truly marking Madrid on the map as a hotspot for live music.

A growing, international festival, Mad Cool plays host to some of the biggest artists around, and the line-up this year is nothing short of mega. Best for fans of rock, this year’s headliners include Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White, Depeche Mode and Queens of the Stone Age, while alt- rock enthusiasts can relish in the return of the likes of Franz Ferdinand, MGMT and everyone’s favourite Aussies, Tame Impala. With appearances form pop’s saviour Dua Lipa, Mercury Prize winning Sampha and rising rapper Post Malone, the festival is set to be an all-inclusive triumph.

Despite its commitment to bringing its punters some of the leading names in pop and rock, Mad Cool champions a wide range of emerging artists from around the world. Go dance to Dua, don’t miss the Monkeys, but do remember to add these lot to your schedule. Here our are favourite not- to-miss artists playing this year’s Mad Cool…


Hailing from Iceland’s town of Mosfellsbær, the blues-rock quartet are your answer for big, gutsy choruses, best served alongside your fourth beer. Enjoy passionate guitar riffs, the soulful vocal of frontman JJ Julius Son and plenty of foot stomping. Kaleo boast an old-school rock formula that never gets old.


Frankie Cosmos

Bedroom pop at it’s finest, NYC’s Frankie Cosmos takes a minimalist approach to her music, but none-the-less offers major feels. Euphoric indie-pop for the everyday commuter, Mad Cool provides the platform for Frankie to bring the sound of a youthful New York City to Madrid, influenced by her city’s anti-folk movement and the lo-fi sounds of the DIY scene.


Goat Girl

Our faves from London! Goat Girl play politically-charged post-punk defending the voice of a disenchanted generation. Weird, witty and down-right badass, it’ll be interesting to see how the band represent the youth of South London in North Madrid. We’re super excited to watch these girls go global.


Bed Rugs

A psychedelic pop-rock outfit formed in Belgium, Bed Rugs invite you to mellow out at Mad Cool with their collection of dreamy rock tunes. Guitars, synth and an occasional dip into ambient noise, its a trip that won’t result in a comedown.



Championing a blissful blend of indie-folk and intricate electronics, Woodson Negro, the name behind the musical project of Haux, is set for his first live performance in Spain. Elegant guitars and enchanting vocals combine with dance music to produce works of a hybrid-genre only to be commended.


Daniel Avery

Dance! Don’t miss Daniel Avery, London’s hometown-to-international DJ/producer set to spin rhythmical dance floor tracks with gloriously atmospheric reflections. Brimming with 90s nostalgia, Avery’s musical collection is rave-ready for Mad Cool after dark.


Núria Graham

One of Spain’s biggest contemporary talents – despite her 21-year youth – Núria delivers mesmerising electronic pop, creating uplifting yet self-aware tunes far beyond her years. Praised for her lyricism – compared to the honest storytelling of British singer-songwriter Laura Marling – alongside her quirky, feel-good sonics – a la Mac Demarco – we recommend you catch Núria before she implodes truly global!


Mad Cool 2018 takes place in Madrid 12th – 14th July.