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Mad Cool Festival Organizers Take Us Inside 2022’s Stacked Lineup

Organizers Cindy Castillo and Albert Juncosa take us inside the next era of the Madrid festival

mad cool 2022 preview
Mad Cool Festival, photo by Ben Kaye
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    It’s not necessarily rare to see a festival expanded to five days, but it is rare to see a five day festival boast fourteen headliners. Since 2016, Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival has asserted itself as one of the premiere music festivals not just within Europe, but globally. With a penchant for great rock music, rising local talent, and festival favorites, Mad Cool’s organizers are meticulous with their lineups, and this year is no different.

    The festival feature some classic heavy hitters like Metallica, Deftones, Jack White, and Muse, as well as a major headlining performance from Florence + The Machine, plus sets from The Killers, Twenty One Pilots, Stormzy, HAIM, Phoebe Bridgers, The War On Drugs, Alt-J, Glass Animals, Wolf Alice, Foals, Carly Rae Jepsen, and CHVRCHES. Regardless of your music preferences, there’s something at Mad Cool for you.

    Crafting such a comprehensive and stacked festival doesn’t come without its challenges: 2022 is indeed a year like no other, where touring musicians are dealing with massive industry shakeups and festival organizers are having to accommodate more last-minute changes than ever before. After the pandemic forced Mad Cool to cancel their 2020 edition, the organizers were planning on staging the festival in 2021 — but, as things often have in the last two years, it fell through.

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    Now, two years later, Mad Cool is arriving with an air of renewal. Cindy Castillo and Albert Juncosa, two of Mad Cool’s organizers, realized it was time to reinvent the festival altogether. “I would say during 2020/21/22, we have worked more and harder than ever,” says Castillo. “It was not only booking the lineups again but redefining the whole festival, the company and the way to approach such an unexpected circumstance.”

    With a laundry list of unmissable bands, some trailblazing Spanish artists, and a unique festival environment, Mad Cool is blazing forward into the next era of their iconic festival. Check out the full Q&A below.

    Ed. Note: Saturday and Sunday single-day tickets to Mad Cool Festival 2022 are still available to purchase!


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    After the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic, you had to start all over again with booking the 2022 lineup. What was it like going back to the drawing board during such an uncertain period of time?

    Castillo: I would say during 2020/21/22, we have worked more and harder than ever. It was not only booking the lineups again but redefining the whole festival, the company and the way to approach such an unexpected circumstance. There has also been a generational change which brings a huge musical change with it. Therefore, I would say it has been a long process, but it has also been very interesting to start booking again each time, and realizing how bands have evolved, changed or risen during these (almost) three years.

    Juncosa: I have the feeling that we never really stopped. Once the 2020 festival was cancelled, we started figuring out what the 2021 fest would look like, which artists would remain on the lineup, which bands would definitely cancel, how to approach the deals from then onwards, etc… until we realized 2021 was not possible, and we then started the same process once again for 2022. It has been a very long process of a lineup, which has been constantly evolving for three years.

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    What were some of the challenges when it came to booking the lineup this year?

    Juncosa: Dealing with unexpected cancellations while trying to find suitable replacements on time… it’s been (and might not be over yet) a very crazy year!

    There are a lot of really exciting local and Spain-based acts on the lineup this year! Did including local artists feel more important this year than others? Who are some of the local artists that you’re the most excited about for this year’s fest?

    Castillo: Including local talent is always important, no matter the circumstance! I’m excited about Irenegarry, Bikoko, and Mori.

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    Juncosa: Always proud of the local representation! I would personally recommend b1n0, Viva Belgrado and St. Woods.

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