In partnership with Mad Cool Festival
After two years of postponements, Mad Cool Festival is set to return this July, with the event taking over Madrid’s Valdebebas–Ifema July 2-6.
Expanded to five days to make up for lost time, the festival will host over 100 of the very best names in pop, rock, indie, dance and metal, bringing together festival favourites and bands on the verge of blowing up. From legends like Metallica, Pixies and Stormzy to newcomers like Baby Queen and Easy Life, Mad Cool 2022 is shaping up to be one almighty party.
Tickets to Mad Cool Festival 2022 are available here and to help plan your five-day celebration, we’ve selected seven acts you absolutely must see this summer.
Florence And The Machine
Who: The master of euphoric, escapist indie
What makes them so unmissable: With new album ‘Dance Fever’ out in the world, Florence And The Machine will be looking to bring that jubilant, cathartic and rhythm-based record to life at Mad Cool. FATM may be a seasoned festival headliner but their shows have always felt spontaneous, with the band reacting to the energy of the crowd to create something unique and powerful. Armed with a fifth album that sees them reborn and championing communal joy, expect Florence And The Machine’s headline set to feel like pure magic.
Standout track: ‘King’
Who: Alt-pop band finding optimism in the horror of today
What makes them so unmissable: Easy Life’s debut album ‘Life’s A Beach’ saw the Leicester-based five-piece tackle everything from boozy nights out to existential dread with the same defiant, sunny sense of hope. Their lyrics might be raw and conversational, but they’re perfect for a sun-soaked singalong while Easy Life’s uplifting music is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The band are currently teasing a new single with former Brockhampton mastermind Kevin Abstract as they prepare for a brand-new era, so brace yourself for something bold and exciting. Easy Life are the sort of band that could one day headline Mad Cool.
Standout track: ‘Beeswax’
Who: Party-starting pop superstar
What makes them so unmissable: Hope Tala has, like most of Gen Z, spent the past few years wanting to go out and cause chaos. Channelling that fizzing, fiery lust for life into her music, Tala creates infectious pop bangers designed to get people moving. New single ‘Party Sickness’ is about the freedom to “get a bit messy” while her debut album will see her “really not holding back”. All the pieces are there for an almighty party at Mad Cool, all that’s missing is you.
Standout track: ‘All My Girls Like To Fight’
Who: Empathetic, comforting and empowering pop
What makes them so unmissable: Arlo Parks’ music is part poetry, part lessons on how to survive. Finding an audience through lockdown with her fraught but never fragile songs about mental illness and loneliness, Parks quickly became a comforting voice to be trusted. Debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ was a phenomenon and the live shows since have been emotional, cathartic and beautiful. Her music is painful at times but you’ll always feel better after listening.
Standout track: ‘Softly’
Who: Voice of a generation
What makes them so unmissable: For years, Sam Fender has been an underdog but following the global success of brilliant coming-of-age album ‘Seventeen Going Under’, Fender is very much on top of the world. Despite the chart successes and trophy wins, it’s live where Fender’s fiery anthems of rebellion, love and acceptance really come to life and this summer is going to be his biggest yet. Fresh from supporting The Killers and coming a week before his mammoth headline show at Finsbury Park (playing to 40,000 people), Fender’s slot at Mad Cool is going to be legendary.
Standout track: ‘Spit Of You’
Who: Delicate singer/songwriter packing a big emotional punch
What makes them so unmissable: Guitarricadelafuente (aka Álvaro Calvo) caused waves on social media with flamenco and rumba inspired covers before releasing his first original song ‘El Conticinio’ which he recorded at home with a PlayStation microphone. From those humble beginnings, Calvo has grafted hard, releasing a string of gut-wrenching emotional songs and touring relentlessly. All that work came to a head with the release of his beautiful, carefully crafted debut album La Cantera earlier this year. From here on out, the world is his for the taking.
Standout track: ‘Ya mi mama me decia’
Who: Rock ‘n’ roll saviours who aren’t afraid of a little funk
What makes them so unmissable: When they first emerged in 2013 with ‘Out Of The Black’, Royal Blood were praised for their no-nonsense but ambitious take on rock ‘n’ roll. Two records of blistering rock anthems quickly followed while third album ‘Typhoons’ saw the pair infuse disco, dance and pop into their heavy sound. The duo were always a force to be reckoned with but with those new songs in their arsenal, they’re going to shake the very foundations of Mad Cool. Bonus points if you overhear anyone saying “how do they make so much noise for a two-piece” during their set.
Standout track: ‘Typhoons’