Glasto may be over for another year, but don’t let the post-Worthy Farm blues get you down: there are still a ton of wicked festivals that you can head to with your pals over the next few summer months. One example of the many other brilliant live music events which annually fill the festival calendar is Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival, which NME hopped down to last week for its scorching hot 2019 edition. Bringing 75,000 revellers to their lime green AstroTurfed site just outside the Spanish capital, this year’s Mad Cool saw some of the biggest names in music playing into the early hours of the morning across four magnificent nights.
From The 1975 to Robyn and Bon Iver to Rosalía, here’s the story of Mad Cool Festival 2019 in glorious pictures.
1Welcome Party: Metronomy
Metronomy got the Mad Cool party going on the festival’s opening day, where they played in glorious sunshine.
2Welcome Party: Rosalía
Rosalía brought an arena pop show to the festival stage, complete with dancers, visuals and a Beyoncé-style fan.
3Welcome Party: Lykke Li
Blitzing through a set comprised of tunes from last year’s ‘So Sad So Sexy’ and old favourites, Lykke Li bewitched festivalgoers at the Mad Cool Welcome Party.
4Welcome Party: Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me’s mega show boasted pyro, apocalyptic dancers and lashings of huge circle pits.
5Welcome Party: Fusa Nocta
Fusa Nosta brought her own brand of trap to the Consequence of Sound Stage.
6Welcome Party: Viagra Boys
The glam-punks turned the Mondo Sonoro stage into a sweaty, late-night party.
7Day one: Lewis Capaldi
“Do you like rock ‘n’ roll?” Lewis asked at one point during his set. “Well, you’ve come to the wrong fucking place… Chewbacca himself is going to give you some sad, sad music.” The lack of rock ‘n’ roll didn’t seem to bother the audience though, with a Scottish flag-waving crowd eating up the new King of the Internet’s performance.
8Day one: SG Lewis
Fresh from his Ferris wheel ride with NME, SG Lewis treated The Loop to an hour of his sun-drenched sounds.
9Day one: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Mixing his own solo tunes with Oasis classics and a Beatles cover, Noel put on a stellar late-night set.
10Day one: Vampire Weekend
VW were rocking all over the world at Mad Cool as they brought their big ol’ globe all the way to Madrid.
11Day one: Tash Sultana
Tash Sultana was the perfect accompaniment to the setting sun.
12Day one: Bon Iver
A few hours before their Mad Cool headline set Bon Iver announced their new album ‘i,i’ and dropped a handful of new songs. But if you’d been hoping to hear any of these live, you’d have been disappointed. “We put out a couple of new songs today but we don’t know how to play them yet,” Justin Vernon admitted to the audience at one point. But no matter: over their 80-minute show they delighted Mad Cool with a career-spanning setlist which included a rare outing of ‘For Emma’.
13Day one: Iggy Pop
Iggy’s blistering set was a reminder that he’s rock’n’roll’s great survivor.
As the sun went down, the entire festival site lit up for some late-night fun.
15Day two: The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins brought their toy box set to Mad Cool for a euphoric set full of fan-delighting favourites.
16Day two: The National
Joined by Lisa Hannigan, Gail Ann Dorsey and Mina Tindle on guest vocals, The National delivered an emotional but powerful set.
17Day two: Miles Kane
Miles was playing in almost 40°C heat, so his choice of on-stage bucket hat was very sensible.
18Day two: Marina
Give me an M! Give me an A! Give me an… oh, you get the picture. Here’s Marina being excellent on the Comunidad De Madrid Stage.
19Day two: Vince Staples
This was Vince’s first-ever live show in the Spanish capital, and he pulled out all the stops for it. Backed by a multi-screen installation that displayed scenes from classic sitcoms and cartoons like Seinfeld and South Park (which, at times, hilariously featured the rapper himself), Vince proceeded to blast through a blistering set of his energetic tunes.
20Day two: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Aussie rockers RBCF battled the heat with a stellar set of their festival-favourite tunes.
21Day three: Gossip
Gossip provided the ultimate nostalgia trip — because who didn’t rinse ‘Standing in the Way of Control’ when it first came out?
22Day three: The Cure
Fresh from their Glastonbury headline set, The Cure continued their run of huge 2019 shows with a stunning Mad Cool set — and they might have just had the biggest crowd of the weekend for it, too.
23Day three: The 1975
“Whoever fucking put my band on at the same time as The Cure needs a fucking slap!” Matty Healy told the crowd at one point. He may have been missing The Cure, but the crowd watching The 1975 were thoroughly enjoying Healy’s band’s killer festival set.
24Day three: Robyn
Name a more perfect trio of set-closing songs than ‘Missing U’, ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ and ‘With Every Heartbeat’, which Robyn dropped at the end of her Mad Cool set. We’ll wait.