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Music Odds: Who Will Headline 2018 Mad Cool Festival?

The Killers playing Madison Square Garden in 2009
The Killers (2009) - Photo Credit: aphrodite-in-nyc (Flickr) CC License

There are a lot of great music festivals throughout the world, some stick around while others blow up in a ball of flames.

Launched back in 2016, the Mad Cool Festival — which takes place in mid-June and early July in Madrid, Spain — has attracted big headliners who, in turn, have attracted a significant amount of attention from festival-goers.

Anytime you have the likes of Neil Young, The Who, The Prodigy help launch your festival, you know the old age adage of going big or going home applies. Not to be outdone, 2017 saw the Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Kings of Leon headlining, helping the festival live up to its moniker.

With five stages that inhabit the city’s Caja Magica — both inside and out — the three-day party starts in the late afternoon and goes into the early morning with tunes for all musical tastes, especially if you love a nice blend of alt-rock, folk, and a little nostalgia thrown in for good measure.

So what will it take for you to go MAD with excitement and buy a COOL festival pass and a plane ticket to Madrid? What band(s) would do it for you?

The 2018 festival is still over half a year away and there aren’t many credible rumors about who headline, but it’s sure fun to pontificate and research great music. Plus, there tends to be rhyme and reason to these things. The best bets for big headliners on the festival circuit are the artists who have — or will have — just released a new album. Plus, if you go back and look at the history of the headliners at various festivals, you can start to see patterns; Mad Cool is no different, even though it’s only seen a couple iterations so far.

With that knowledge, let’s set the odds who will headline in 2018.


The Killers: 17/3

A great band with a new album coming out (Wonderful Wonderful), the Killers are going to spend their 2017/2018 touring all around the world, so why not have a mad cool band headline a Mad Cool Festival?

Vampire Weekend: 17/3

Ezra Koenig and company will have a new album out either later this year or early next, meaning they will want to promote said album right? Mad Cool Festival meet Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend meet Mad Cool. The thought of listening to songs like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” on a warm Madrid evening is giving me the tinglies. Let’s make this happen.

Pearl Jam: 9/1

Hard to have a rock festival without having one of the greatest living rock bands headline at some point. Foo Fighters headlined 2017 and so it just seems right to have Eddie Vedder and crew take the Mad Cool stage sooner than later. There really isn’t much more to say.

Radiohead: 9/1

You know it’s going to happen at some point. I’m pretty sure the organizers of every festival the world over would love to have Radiohead headline … even, like, the Maryland Deathfest. Anytime we predict festival headliners Radiohead always seems to make the list. With their recent Coachella appearance, we got a taste of what a Radiohead gig could be like in Madrid. It tasted good.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: 19/1

Loved worldwide, Tom Petty would be a great musical icon to have headline a Mad Cool festival. This is a festival that has no problems bringing back the classics, and since Neil Young headlined in 2016, there should be room for The Heartbreakers and one “Last Dance With Mary Jane.”

Fatboy Slim: 19/1

Mad Cool had the classic electronic group The Prodigy back in 2016. The organizers should fully commit to bringing back the beats of the 90s with a headlining appearance from Fatboy Slim. He’s a DJ’s DJ, not that one-button-pusher you see at some festivals nowadays. Plus he has a catalog of tracks that know how to get a party going. Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.

Marilyn Manson: 50/1

Manson is about to release his new album, Heaven Upside Down, and the shock rocker will be touring, which could mean festival appearances in the summer. The antichrist of rock might seem a bit too heavy for Mad Cool, but there is some artistic flair to Manson’s live sets that I think people would appreciate. He’s a long shot but sweet dreams are made of these.


The Arctic Monkeys (2014) – Photo Credit: Bill Ebbesen CC License
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Oasis
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Weezer
  • Paramore
  • Daft Punk
  • Gorillaz
  • Depeche Mode
  • Steve Miller Band
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Moby
  • No Doubt
  • Massive Attack
  • M83
  • Misfits
  • The Cure
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Trevor is Sports Betting Dime’s resident geek aka: entertainment writer. He also moonlights as a national film reviewer for other publications. He comes equipped with diplomas in marketing and broadcast journalism with a PHD in couch lounging.