Sure, Mad Cool had plenty of artists from the UK, USA and Europe: Bring Me! Vampire Weekend! The Cure! The 1975! Robyn! But, spearheaded by breakthrough star Rosalía, there was also a great sense of pride in homegrown Spanish acts. Here are five NME caught in action
Easy description for us Brits: Spain’s biggest breakthrough pop star in years
What went down: Wednesday’s Mad Cool Welcome Party was technically headlined by Bring Me The Horizon, but the home crowd crowned Rosalía the undisputed queen of the festival. The ground-breaking Catalan artist blends traditional Spanish performing arts such as flamenco with razor-sharp R&B and pop, taking the recent Latin pop trend to stunning new places. Check out review of her subsequent London show here.
Easy description for us Brits: If Billie Eilish went on The X Factor and did only Gucci Mane songs
What went down: The talent show graduate (she was a finalist on the Spanish X Factor last year) combines trap with commercial pop and gothic iconography, much like NME favourite Billie Eilish, so it’s no surprise her early evening set had at least one “WTF?” moment. This came when a dancer draped a bag over Fusa’s head, causing her to mime suffocation before freeing herself. The rest of the set was a booming pop-trap masterclass that left NME similarly breathless.
Easy description for us Brits: Spanish Spinal Tap
What went down: Euphoria! Leather! Solos! Sex Museum play cock rock for the masses, with big riffs and long hair that Rapunzel might consider in need of a trim. So delighted were the crowd, they serenaded the band with a rousing ‘ole ole ole’ at the end – and the band joined in. You can’t quite tell if Sex Museum take it seriously or not, but it probably doesn’t matter either way.
Easy description for us Brits: Brill, Dua Lipa-like pop with electro-beats
What went down: Based in Madrid, the Italian-Spanish duo Delaporte (Sandra Delaporte and Sergio Salvi) look set for crossover success thanks to their winning mix of Salvi’s crunching beats and Delaporte’s bewitching vocal and undeniable star power. Check out their guide to Madrid below.
Easy description for us Brits: Spanish ladrock
What went down: This Valencia-based band are for everyone who likes your proper indie rock music: think Kings Of Leon, Kasabian and The Killers, with a not-too-awful-to-look-at lead singer (Joe Merello), loads of riffs and some towering bilingual songs. They played the opening slot on the Mondo Sonoro stage on Saturday, but treated it like they were doing a sold-out Brixton Academy (in 2007).
Additional reporting by Jordan Bassett