Team NME have descended upon Madrid for the glorious return of Mad Cool, which has taken over the Spanish capital for the first time since 2019. With a killer line-up that boasts huge headliners such as Metallica and The Killers, guitar heroes Sports Team and St Vincent, plus mega-exciting local acts including irenegarry and Megane Mercury, it’s set to be a huge weekend.
To get a taste of the action, keep up to date with our rolling photo gallery below, as we bring coverage from every corner of the festival site as it happens. Keep checking back for updates – as told through our stunning photos. Let’s go!
Day one: we’re back, baby!
What a beautiful view.
Day one: kings of the mosh pit
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes stormed the Region Of Madrid stage, matching the intensity of the heatwave with their similarly scorching rock belters.
Day one: Yungblud is all smiles
The pop-punk misfit was overjoyed to be at his first Mad Cool, telling us that “Spanish crowds sing louder than any other country in the world”. Right on!
Day one: jump up, jump up and get down!
Our favourite Donny boy never fails to deliver a raucous set.
Day one: Carly Rae Jepsen achieves pop hero status
Jeppers kept the bangers coming in a set stuffed with her biggest hits, and even found time to air her gorgeous new single ‘Western Wind’.
Day one: cut to the feeling
Pure, unbridled euphoria in a photo. Perhaps CRJ is as excited to be at Mad Cool as we are!
Day one: Placebo hit up the main stage
The groundbreaking rockers were on exhilarating form, delivering tracks from their stellar 2022 comeback album ‘Never Let Me Go’.
Day one: Brian Molko, resplendent in white
The Placebo frontman held their cult following enraptured as he belted out some of the more obscure and undersung bangers from their back catalogue.
Day one: exit light, enter night…
The party mood sets in at Mad Cool once the sun goes down.
Day one: through the fire and the flames
The mighty Metallica brought plenty of pyro to their huge headline set.
Day one: horns to the sky!
The veteran rock Gods got the crowd rocking out to all their hits.
Day one: who’s got James smiling like this?
Here’s guitarist James Hetfield flashing a huge grin as he rips through another massive riff.
Day one: all hail CHVRCHES
The Scottish trio lit up the festival site with their luminescent synth-pop bangers.
Day one: Lauren Mayberry soaks it all up
The Chvrches singer kept us going throw a goth-pop rave.
Day one: Twenty One Pilots don balaclavas
The duo brought the costumes and some smoke machines – and a massive crowd!
Day one: Twenty One Pilots do their own stunts
Backflips, confetti and big production value – Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun closed out the first night of Mad Cool with some serious bombast.
Day two: back at it again
Amyl and The Sniffers put on a scorching show on the Madrid Is Life stage.
Day two: a class act
“I’m gonna let you know something up front: my hype level is this. I’m not good at hyping up crowds. That’s it. Thanks for coming to hear our music,” Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock tells the audience at their late afternoon set. No matter – the legendary band don’t need hype to make their set a good time, as they demonstrate with their killer Mad Cool performance.
Day two: ushering in the night
London Grammar’s stunning performance came with the perfect accompaniment: the sun setting over Mad Cool Festival. Closing with a euphoric, extended version of ‘Lose Your Head’, the trio’s set was the ideal way to usher in the night.
Day two: Deftones dominate
Closing their three-month tour with a final stop at Mad Cool, Deftones wowed over a colossal crowd on the main stage.
Day two: open up the dancefloor
Sigrid’s slick set of synth-pop smashers got everyone on their feet.
Day two: look at these Dragons roar
“It feels like we’re with old friends,” Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds told the audience during their set. Given the response of the crowd, it looks like Mad Cool agree.
Day two: life is a carnival
Ticker tape rains down on Imagine Dragons’ theatrical Thursday show
Day two: St. Vincent struts her stuff
St. Vincent put on a late-night show to remember over on the Region Of Madrid stage.
Day two: wave your flag
It’s Pride this week in Madrid, and St. Vincent is certainly feeling it too.
Day two: he’s the man!
The Killers brought heaps of back-to-back bangers during their headline set.
Day two: The Killers bring us a world exclusive
“Do you wanna be the first to hear us play a new song right now?” asked frontman Brandon Flowers during their set – the answer was obviously yes. Debuting new track ‘Boy’, it was an exciting glimpse of the band’s next release.
Day two: Tove Lo brings the good vibes
Tove Lo celebrated “the last ones standing” at her late-night show over on the Region of Madrid stage, treating the revellers to a party-starting set of pop goodness.
Day two: Foals close the show
Foals blitzed through a raucous, career-spanning set to close the festivities on day two.
Day two: Life Is Yours
Foals party-fuelled album of summer smashers was meant for nights like this.
Day three: MØ shares the love
The Danish pop sensation got up close and intimate with her fans during her evening set.
Day three: rocking out with The War On Drugs
Adam Granduciel and co. delivered a life-affirming performance on the main stage as the sun began to set over the festival site.
Day Three: come fly with Jamie Cullum
Aided by his aerodynamic stage presence, jazzy singer Jamie Cullum gave us his all on the Region Of Madrid stage.
Day three: Culllum, the rockstar
Who knew wee Jamie Cullum would pull one of the Region Of Madrid’s biggest crowds of the whole week, and smash out some true rockstar moves as well as a Killers cover?
Day three: dancing with the dead
Phoebe Bridgers’ sunset set featured a selection of skeleton costumes among her backing band.
Day two: a moving moment
During ‘Punisher’, Bridgers offers her mic to a young woman on the barrier. Tears streaming down her face, the fan instead screams: “Women’s rights!” It’s a vital moment that reverberates well beyond the PA of this stage.
Day three: sisters are doing it for themselves
California trio (and sisters, duh!) Haim’s set was a guitar-wielding jumble of a party.
Day three: Haim time means sausage time
With the addition of a bevy of massive inflatable sausages which adorn the back of the stage – inspired by the artwork from the sisters’ latest record ‘Women In Music Pt. III’ – the array of swinging deli meat in the background thankfully doesn’t distract too much from the real action.
Day three: it’s giving… international party-starter
Coming all the way from London to “have some fucking fun”, Manchester’s alternative hip-hop star IAMDDB got the crowd pumped with her Northern cheekiness.
Day three: having some devilish fun
Incubus took us down memory lane with their career-spanning set, much to the delight of the excitable Mad Cool crowd.
Day three: no pyro, no party
The cloaked rebellious bandits that are Muse will the people of Mad Cool to rage through all the political fuckery in headlines the world over. Read the five most supermassive moments from their set here.
Day three: masked up
Muse arrived on stage in the hoods and metallic mirror masks of the rebel militia from their recent music videos, teasing upcoming album ‘The Will Of The People’
Day three: Guitar icon
Plug in, baby. It’s Muse time
Day three: “This little light of mine…”
Alt-J certainly let their lights shine, staying true to the festival’s slogan (“Shine again”). Illuminating the Mad Cool stage on day three, it was a fantastic spectacle to behold.
Day three: Mmm, let’s tesselate
It’s a dreamy and ravey end to day three from Alt-J.
Day four: hola, hola, hola
Man, it’s a hot one – but we’re loving every minute here in Madrid.
Day four: Leon lights up the Mad Cool stage
Leon Bridges’ smooth, sun-kissed set on the Madrid Is Life stage helped Mad Cool ease their way into the festival’s fourth day.
Day four: shut up and play the hits
And boy, did Pixies do just that on the Mad Cool main stage: ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’, ‘Vamos’, ‘Caribou’, ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Debaser’, ‘Where Is My Mind?’ – the list of classics just went on and on.
Day four: sing with me now
Gang Of Youths’ triumphant set on the Region Of Madrid stage was a communal affair.
Day four: he bangs the drums
Mura Masa drummed up all sorts of good vibrations on The Loop stage as night-time descended on the festival site.
Day four: they said it changes when the sun goes down…
The crowd were pumped for Kings Of Leon’s sunset slot.
Day four: Zara brought the zeal
Zara Larsson’s slick performance on the Region Of Madrid stage went down as pure pop treat.
Day four: Kings Of Leon have the magic touch
The Followill brothers served up a barnstorming set on Saturday, replete with their biggest anthems.
Day four: Editors take a well-earned bow
Mad Cool had a lotta love for the Birmingham five-piece.
Day four: Florence in full flow
Florence + The Machine’s headline slot on the Mad Cool main stage was a typically spell-binding affair.
Day four: feel the love
Florence Welch refers to the Mad Cool crowd as her “cult”, and there’s certainly nothing but devotion on display.
Day four: Royal Blood reign supreme
Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher brought day four of Mad Cool to an end with a typically barnstorming set on the Madrid Is Life stage. Our highlight? Thatcher banging his massive gong.
Day five: Bow down
Princess Nokia emerged at Mad Cool as a punk princess.
Day five: howay the lads!
Newcastle United fans lined the barrier for Sam Fender’s huge Main Stage performance.
Day five: we love you Fender, we do
N’awww, look at that smile!
Day five: strike a pose
A masterclass in stage presence and dance, the Argentinia-born-Spanish-raised Nathy Peluso delivered one of the finest sets of the weekend.
Day five: seriously, you need Nathy Peluso in your life
Peluso is like Rosalía, Rihanna, Christine & The Queens, Grace Jones and The Terminator in one bewilderingly awesome package – pulling one of the biggest crowds of the whole week, as well as proving to be a twerking, flower-abusing surprise highlight.
Day five: Two Door Cinema Club are back!
The Bangor trio brought their seminal indie anthems to a packed-out The Loop tent.
Day five: hear that roar!
Throughout Jack White’s killer headline set, the Mad Cool crowd continued to rock out, even after four extremely late nights.
Until next year.
Thanks, Mad Cool – you were beautiful.
Check back here at NME for the latest news, interviews, photos and more from Mad Cool 2022.
NME is an official media partner of Mad Cool Festival 2022