Is Mad Cool the best EU festival of 2018?

Madrid vs Barca. A rivalry as old as time itself. El Clasico. A battle between titans. Ronaldo vs Messi. The list goes on forever, to be honest. But 2018 has fueled the fire more so by pitting Madrid‘s Mad Cool Festival against Barcelona‘s Primavera Sound Festival.

Announced on Sunday night (28 January), Primavera has blown the festival game out of the water with Lorde, Bjork, Arctic Monkeys, A$AP Rocky, The National, Tyler, the Creator and many more added to what has become one of the most anticipated summer events. The phenomenal line-up comes as sweet relief for those who missed out on Mad Cool Festival tickets BEFORE Jack White was added to the bill.

With Madrid hosting Jack White, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Depeche Mode to name just a few, it is vital for every festival to get as close to that line-up as possible. The likes of Reading and Leeds have been underwhelming recently, TRNSMT have come nowhere near their maiden line-up with 2018 headliners The Killers, Liam Gallagher and Stereophonics so it is no surprised that festival-goers are choosing to head to Spain for line-ups worth the cash.

Although the festivals run around five weeks apart, many of us can only choose one – and I (@Cal_Thornhill – I’d love your thoughts via Twitter) have chose to head to Mad Cool this year. Below are a few reasons of how I am telling myself I am satisfied with this and DEFINITELY not kicking myself for not holding out for Primavera Sound.

  1. Mad Cool have Jack White and Pearl Jam – I would never buy tickets to see these acts do a headline show because I am not THAT familiar with their music. Seeing them at a festival gives me an opportunity to do so and inevitably hate myself for not getting into them sooner.
  2. Tame Impala – The return of one of the greatest bands I have ever seen. Liverpool Olympia was beautifully intimate, but catching them in the Madrid sun will be a fantastic combination.
  3. MGMT – For a band I listen to excessively and watch live sets from on YouTube all the time it is strange to have not seen them yet. Similar to Tame Impala, the mesmerising sounds they produce are sure to be complemented by the Mediterranean summer.
  4. Real/Atletico Madrid – Of course Barcelona has the Nou Camp, but Real Madrid‘s Santiago Bernabeu is definitely going to be frequented away from the festival. After a visit to Ajax’Johan Cryuff Arena last summer, another of Europe‘s magnificent sporting structures is on the to-do list.
  5. Arctic Monkeys – I bet you think I have gone mad and think the Sheffield rockers are at Mad Cool. Wrong. The news of their absence comes as a relief to me after being let down by their Reading and Leeds headliner in 2014. Going into festival season fresh from hiatus is a risky game – half of their fans wouldn’t dare slate them, but if they do not sound at their best it could easily ruin an otherwise superb festival.

Of course, there are many reasons you should choose Primavera as your summer holiday. To name just a few: A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator are sure to be mindblowing and Tyler playing a UK show anytime soon is not looking likely. The National are comfortably one of the best live bands I have ever seen, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are also apparently incredible and Skeleton Tree was gobsmackingly stunning. Bjork will be a life changing experience, as will Lorde.

And lastly, because tickets are still available for the measly cost of €215.

Let us know your thoughts on where you think has the best EU festival in the comments or on Twitter.


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