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Mad Cool celebrates stellar move to new site

Organisers hail relocation to Madrid's Villaverde neighbourhood a win for fans and the environment

By Gordon Masson on 13 Jul 2023

Lizzo was one of the highlights of Mad Cool's opening night on 6 July

image © Javier Bragado

The relocation of Mad Cool festival to an area just south of Madrid’s city centre has been given the thumbs up by fans and event organisers alike, with upwards of 202,000 passes counted through the gates last weekend – 65,000 on day one; 67.000 on day two; and a sold-out 70,000 on the Saturday.

Working closely with Madrid City Council and other local authorities, Mad Cool’s management team secured the use of a site in the capital’s Villaverde District where long-term plans have been unveiled to transform the neighbourhood into a cultural hub, with the aim of creating new jobs and increasing tourism to that southern part of the city. And with easily accessible public transport connections, the festival has also taken a giant step toward its sustainability targets.

This year’s festival included more than 100 acts making their way to Madrid over the 6-8 July weekend. The bill for the event included huge international names such as The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lizzo, Mumford and Sons, Queens of the Stone Age, Ava Max, Sam Smith, The 1975, Nova Twins, Robbie Williams, Lil Nas X, Franz Ferdinand, Paolo Nutini, Rina Sawayama, Jamie XX, Primal Scream, and Machine Gun Kelly, among others, as well as a healthy mix of local stars and emerging talent.

More than 200,000 fans came to the festival over the three days, with the vast majority using public transport to travel here

With numerous international attendees, from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, Mad Cool has also gained a reputation as a summer hub for industry professionals to meet and catch up.

Mad Cool director Javier Arnáiz comments, “Our goal has always been to create an event and space capable of hosting major music stars, where the venue and its services would be one of the festival’s headliners, and where the audience – all the audience – would feel at home. I think that in the new location in Villaverde, Madrid we have achieved that goal, and it was a bonus to see so many colleagues and friends from other countries enjoying the festival, shoulder to shoulder with the fans.”

Festival booker Cindy Castillo adds, “The move to Mad Cool’s new site was very successful. More than 200,000 fans came to the festival over the three days, with the vast majority using public transport to travel here, thanks to the location’s proximity to central Madrid. We were blessed by good weather and a strong line-up, thanks to all the booking team, and that was reflected by the enthusiasm of the fans, whose feedback about the new home for the festival has been really encouraging.”

The organisers have confirmed that Mad Cool Festival 2024 will be on the weekend of 11-13 July.


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