With Mad Cool now sitting at the top table of European festivals, it's easy to forget that it only came into existence in 2016. In that time, the festival has earned thousands of fans and industry-wide respect built mostly around the huge lineups that they've delivered each year.
With preparations now underway for the 2019 edition, and tickets going on sale soon, we've looked back at how the festival became such a big deal in such a short time.
2016 – A Huge Debut
Not many festivals can offer the headline combo of Neil Young and The Who for their debut edition, but that's exactly what Mad Cool did back in 2016. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers were joined by the likes of The Prodigy, Die Antwoord, Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, Jane's Addiction, Garbage, Flume, and Editors.
More than 100,000 fans were there to witness the 70+ performances over the three days. A real statement of intent from the newcomer.
2017 – An Even Bigger Follow-Up
Building on the solid foundations of the debut edition, the festival returned in 2017, this time taking place in early July rather than the middle of June with five stages spread across Caja Magica's indoor and outdoor spaces.
Topping the bill were a trio of hugely established headliners with countless festival performances between them over the last two decades – Foo Fighters, Green Day and Kings Of Leon. Among those just below them were Foals, alt-J, M.I.A., Manic Street Preachers, Catfish & The Bottlemen, and Jagwar Ma.
2018 – A New Home
For the festival's third edition, the organisers decided to up the scale of the whole affair. Moving to a new home in Valdebebas-Ifema in the north of Madrid, Mad Cool's daily capacity increased from 45,000 to 80,000, with two additional stages on the new site of 100,000 square metres.
They also outdid themselves yet again with the lineup: Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Jack White, Depeche Mode, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa, Kasabian, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Justice, MGMT, Wolf Alice and a more extensive offering of electronic music talent to boot.
Book tickets for Mad Cool Festival 2019 here