Mad Cool 2023: Unique, Varied and Chaotic

There’s something about extreme heat which makes running festivals all the more frantic. Spanish festivals have never been known for their organisational prowess, and yet up until the pandemic Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival was regarded as one of the best out there for artists and crew (but not so much the visitors). This year, their second edition since the big C, Mad Cool faced organisational difficulties from all directions despite booking one of its biggest line-ups to date. Negativity aside, though, the IFEMA site is a top location, with good connections back into Spain’s capital and plenty of things to experience. There may have been cries of overcrowding, but on the whole Mad Cool managed to present tens of thousands of fans with a pretty solid edition. We sent Vir Barbero to Madrid to capture everything that went down.