2022 festivals

Musical hedonism

06/20/2022 · By Roberto C. Rascón
Festivals bring together thousands of fans of live music over the summer
Festivals bring together thousands of fans of live music over the summer. © Mad Cool – Paco Poyato

Pleasure. What you feel when you listen to your favourite song, sing it at the top of your lungs, and share it with thousands of people. After taking a break due to the pandemic, music festivals are back with a bang. Mad Cool, BBK Live, Sonorama, Medusa Sunbeach or Monegros Desert, among others, bring together the best on the national and international scene for the enjoyment of thousands of people who want to celebrate life. Are you in?

Hedonism is that vital attitude in the pursuit of pleasure, and there are few places more given to it than music festivals. Do you feel it? Indeed, it’s that chorus that always makes you smile, that riff that gives you goosebumps, or that beat that means you can’t stop dancing. Since you’re already in the right mood, why don’t we take a look at some of the festival highlights of the summer? Put on your favourite playlist and turn up the volume, here we go!

Mad Cool Festival / 6th-10th of July

Undeniably, the big music festival of the summer. Since its debut in 2016, it has brought to Spain artists such as The Who, Garbage, Foo Fighters, Rosalía, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Robyn, The Cure, and many more. After two years off because of the pandemic, it’s back bringing together music from different styles, distinguished veterans, and rising stars. The Killers, Florence + The Machine, Foals, Carly Rae Japsen, Muse, Zara Larsson, Pixies, St. Vincent, Leon Bridges, Wolf Alice… A smashing line-up!

Don’t miss… Phoebe Bridgers, Irenegarry or The Struts.

Arenal Sound / 4th-7th of August

The beach of El Arenal (Burriana) is home to a festival that, over the years —its first edition was in 2010—, has turned into one of the leading festivals of the summer season. In fact, summer wouldn’t be the same without El Arenal. The festival’s audience, known as sounders, has always been particularly young and, to not lose that distinguishing feature, this year the organisers have chosen new sounds and artists, putting indie music on the backburner. The highlight will be C. Tangana’s performance (on Saturday 6th), who has captivated both critics and the audience with his album El Madrileño.

Don’t miss… Pole., Recycled J, or Arnau Griso.

BBK Live / 7th-9th of July

BBK Live wouldn’t make sense without Kobetamendi, the idyllic natural setting that welcomes thousands of attendees to the festival. If to this, we add its always exquisite line-up, with national stars (Zahara, Rigoberta Bandini, Dorian, Nathy Peluso, or Carolina Durante) and international idols (LCD Soundsystem, Placebo, Stromae, J. Balvin, Pet Shop Boys) a good time is more than guaranteed. It also includes a couple of alternative stages: Basoa, a club proposal where you can fully enjoy electronic music; and Lasai, a space where you can slow down with slower tempos.

Don’t miss… Snail Mail, Inhaler, or Ginebras.

Medusa Sunbeach / 10th-15th of August

Electronic music comes back to the beaches of Cullera after a few years of silence, and it’s back with a bang: Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Timmy Trumpet, Carl Cox, Angerfist… Urban music will also be present with names such as Cali y El Dandee, Danny Romero, Henry Mendez, Juan Magán, or Omar Montes. The goal is to attract a larger audience from more countries to break the record of 315,000 festivalgoers from 2019. Every year, the festival has a different theme on its main stage —set by Fallas artists— and this year’s theme is Circus of Madness.

Don’t miss… Wade, Morad, or Broken Minds.

FIB / 14th-17th of July

In the summer of 1995, groups like The Charlatans, Supergrass, or Los Planetas brought together around 8,000 people in Benicàssim. Since then, the veteran Spanish festival hasn’t stopped growing, both in number of festival-goers —many from the United Kingdom— and regarding the level of the acts —Blur, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, The Strokes, or The Weeknd have graced its stages—. Today it’s on top form, just take a look at its line-up: Two Door Cinema Club, Justice, Kasabian, but also Izal, Lori Meyers, or Love of Lesbian.

Don't miss… Cariño, Tom Grennan, or Arde Bogotá.

Sonorama Ribera / 10th-14th of August.

The cute Plaza del Trigo has turned into one of the most iconic places on the Spanish music scene. Although Sonorama has always bet on national product —and we don’t mean the typical suckling lamb from Aranda de Duero—, becoming a springboard for dozens of artists, it’s never turned down international bands. Also, as usual, a veteran will be celebrated on the main stage. Hoy en mi ventana brilla el sol / Y el corazón / Se pone triste contemplando la ciudad / Porque te vas. Yes, we mean Jeanette.

Don’t miss… Future Islands, Amaia, or Karavana.

Monegros Desert Festival / 30th of July

This electronic music festival said goodbye in 2014... But it turns out it was just goodbye for now. Techno, drum & bass, and trance will boom across the desert of Los Monegros again for the pleasure of festivalgoers. The organisers, who were forced to delay its comeback due to the pandemic, have announced it’ll “be the most epic yet”. Without a doubt, 125 confirmed artists, including big electronic names like Paul Kalkbrenner, Chase & Status, or Vitalic —as well as rap, like SFDK—, across 11 stages sound promising.

Don’t miss… Laurent Garnier, Octo Octa, or Folamour.

Cabo de Plata / 20th-23rd of July

With onions, lard, tomato... In Barbate (Cádiz) they marinate tuna, their star product, to make the most of it, and nothing less could be expected from its festival. Fusion music finds its home at the beach of Hierbabuena. From flamenco to hip hop, through reggaeton, trap, or rock, its loyal festivalgoers avoid labels and are open to new sounds. To celebrate its 5th anniversary, it has prepared a promising line-up and its stages will feature artists such as Ayax y Prok, Bad Gyal, Duki, Mala Rodríguez, Beret, Guitarricadelafuente, or Desakato.

Don’t miss… Mr. Kilombo, Ms Nina or Kitai.