Madrid

Long lines and traffic jams infuriate music fans at Mad Cool festival

Many attendees missed out on performances as they waited to get in to the Madrid event

(Spanish audio).PHOTO: A.N. | VIDEO: ATLAS (atlas)

Intense traffic jams and lines stretching kilometers have dampened the opening of this year’s Mad Cool music festival in Madrid. Many festival-goers complained about the long wait to get into the event, which kicked off Thursday and will run until Saturday. For the first time in its three-year history, the festival – the most popular to date – is being held in the north of Madrid instead of the more central Caja Mágica tennis arena.

Jeers outside Madrid Fair. The police are not letting people go through the main entrance because there are too many people: “If we let you pass there will be a problem with public order.”

Tickets are sold out and around 80,000 people are expected to attend each day of the three-day event. “We have spent more than two and a half hours waiting in line to enter and we have missed seeing Iván Ferreiro. We came from San Sebastián [in Basque Country] and it has been an odyssey just to be able to get in,” complained Alberto de Frutos while he waited outside.

Absolute chaos in the beginning of Mad Cool 2018. The organization is a disaster. Thousands of people waiting, avalanches, people running.

Many of the music fans took to social media to criticize the “disastrous” organization of the event. “People were so indignant because they could hear the music playing from inside the venue and couldn’t get in. They began to shake the fences that had been set up to manage the lines. Riot police had to come to calm down those who were most outraged,” explained Iván Ayllón.

Mad Cool Festival has for another year become the height of an organizational and misinformation disaster.

Road closures, lack of guidance from police, security controls to enter the parking lot, where car trunks had to be checked for alcohol, also led to numerous problems for those who had traveled by car. “I had to wait for an hour to get into the parking lot. The most dangerous part about waiting was the tunnel that you have to pass through under the highway. People were waiting in the line for a long time and it’s asphyxiating,” said Ángel Muñiz.

Coming to Madrid Cool by car? This is what is waiting for you ... if you want to arrive on time and enjoy your favorite music, use public transport.

Local police had recommended on Thursday that people use public transport to get to the festival, where Pearl Jam, MGMT and Tame Impala were playing. After heated negotiations with Madrid City Hall and Madrid regional government, Mad Cool organizers were granted their request for Line 8 on the Metro to stay open all night to help attendees return home.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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