Dua Lipa, Pearl Jam, Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne to headline Mad Cool 2024


Madrid's epic Mad Cool Festival has confirmed a slew of huge names for its 2024 edition, scheduled for July 10-13

Dua Lipa attends the amfAR Cannes Gala 2019.
Dua Lipa attends the amfAR Cannes Gala 2019.SHUTTERSTOCK

Mad Cool has just unveiled its lineup for 2024, and it's a star-studded affair. Headlining the Madrid stage for the festival's upcoming seventh edition are Dua Lipa, Pearl Jam, Sum 41, and Avril Lavigne, marking the first time the festival will span four consecutive days.

Joining them will be The Smashing Pumpkins, Janelle Monáe, Garbage, Greta Van Fleet, Keane, Michael Kiwanuka, Jessie Ware, Black Pumas, Tom Morello, Rels B, Bomba Estéreo, Mando Diao, Alvvays, The Gaslight Anthem, Arlo Parks, and The Breeders, among others.

Mad Cool Festival 2024 is locked in for July 10th to 13th in Madrid, returning to the same venue as its previous edition in the Villaverde district of the Spanish capital. Javier Arnaiz, Mad Cool's director, emphasized that the festival's long-term commitment to this space, highlighting the investments made to enhance the experience and minimize disruptions for the multitude of attendees.

The lineup announcement includes 73 names from the over a hundred concerts planned for the festival. Notably, the headliners for the Friday 12th and Saturday 13th nights are yet to be revealed.

Tickets go on sale December 15, priced at 220 euros plus handling fees.

Dua Lipa takes a prominent spot in this lineup, highly sought after by Spanish festivals for the upcoming summer, as previously reported by EL MUNDO. The British dance-pop star will showcase her new album at Mad Cool, while Pearl Jam returns after headlining in 2018 and delivering one of the festival's standout performances.

The lineup spans youthful pop and classic rock, brimming with '90s nostalgia. Alongside Pearl Jam, iconic alternative rock acts from that decade such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and The Breeders, are slated to perform. There's also a strong presence of punk-rock from that era with Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne.

Unfortunately, Spanish bands are notably sparse in this lineup. However, a notable exception will be Motxila 21, a rock band composed of musicians with Down syndrome, securing a spot on one of the main stages.

Javier Arnaiz has outlined plans to reduce the venue's capacity to a size similar to last year's, while trimming the number of stages from eight to six to enhance audience mobility. Last year, Mad Cool hosted between 65,000 and 70,000 attendees daily across three days, leading to overcrowding in certain areas and mobility challenges.

Access and mobility issues

2024 marks the seventh edition of Mad Cool, one of Spain's largest music festivals. The Madrid-based event has been held in three locations within the city, sparking complaints from locals about noise and overcrowding each time.

In the 2023 edition, access to the venue was severely congested, especially on the first day, resulting in traffic jams in the vicinity and long queues for entry. The festival director acknowledged these issues, stating that a new mobility plan is being developed and attributing the problems to it being the festival's inaugural year in Villaverde. "With any large event, incidents like those we faced last year are to be expected," Arnaiz remarked. "The Metropolitano stadium [home to Atlético Madrid], for instance, faced chaos initially and still does, albeit reduced. When you attend a concert there, you know it's a challenge getting home."

Unlike Primavera Sound and Sónar, Mad Cool currently has no plans to expand to other cities, despite receiving numerous offers.

Mad Cool has a partnership with Live Nation, the multinational live music giant. Additionally, both the Madrid City Council and the Community of Madrid provide direct subsidies of around one million euros each, marking the largest contributions from both administrations to a privately organized cultural event. International tourism plays a pivotal role, accounting for 36% of the audience last year, mainly comprising Britons — a percentage both the festival and authorities anticipate will rise in 2024.