From the age of fourteen onwards, I spent nine years in a row going to Leeds Festival. Me and my best friend Tim stuck it out together – camping 15 feet away from the same bin on the hill in Blue Valley every single year. We returned year after year out of a sense of tradition, but also a stubborn ignorance of any festivals offering anything different.

Mad Cool is like Leeds (and I guess Reading) Festival in a lot of ways. They book the kind of acts that are many people's introduction to alternative music. I first heard Green Day when my friend James sang 'Basket Case' in a year-seven music class – this lead to a teenage life of losing days watching Kerrang and going deep into Operation Ivy. But similarly like Leeds, Mad Cool pulls in a host of contemporary acts; massive bands such as Foals but also showcasing new, local music.

However, the differences are pretty significant too. The time I spent half sleeping out of my tent and dragging my hungover feet through mud to the nearest toastie stall could now be spent relaxing in a hotel and gently wandering through Madrid in search of the best croquettes. This was my first experience of a festival that began in the evening and went through until the morning – the opportunity to explore the city in the daytime was amazing to me.

Leeds Festival is now in its 23rd year, with its sister festival Reading much older than that. Mad Cool feels just as slick as both which is unimaginable for a festival in its second year. I headed over this year to see what all the fuss is about and show you all why you should book a flight to Madrid next year.

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