Summer is here, which means music lovers from across Spain and beyond will soon be making a beeline for the country’s rich array of music festivals.
From Madrid to the Med, Spain is home to some of Europe’s best known festivals, attracting festies from across the continent.
Whether you’re partial to old school punk or the latest electronic beats, the Spanish festival scene has it all.
That’s why we’ve picked out our 5 favourite festivals to help you cut loose with some of the biggest names from the world of music.
Mad Cool Festival
6 – 8 July
First up is the Madrid-based Mad Cool Festival. A relative newbie to the festival calender, it’s the most mainstream event on our list in terms of artists. Despite having an indie rock presence they have veered towards pop music this year, opting for some of the most streamed artists in the world to draw crowds.
California band Red Hot Chili Peppers, and British artists Franz Ferdinand and Robbie Williams are all set to help Mad Cool celebrate their 6th anniversary.
Other headliners include Sam Smith, with his famously provocative performances, and Lil Nas X, singer of the longest-standing number one single of all time, Old Town Road.
Detroit-born Lizzo is also set to make an appearance, as is ex-Oasis front-man Liam Gallagher as he continues his solo venture.
Also topping the bill are The Prodigy, Mumford & Sons, Queens of the Stone Age, Janelle Monáe, The Black Keys and Machine Gun Kelly.
Bilbao BBK Live
6 – 8 July
Next up is Bilbao BBK Live, located on the slopes of Mount Cobetas on the outskirts of the Basque Country’s biggest city. It has three main stages, a DJ tent, several food markets and two camping areas.
Once nominated for best foreign festival at the UK festival awards, BBK has been a success story for Bilbao since it’s inception in 2006. Organisers claim it has single-handedly established the city as the third Spanish concert capital behind Madrid and Barcelona.
This year’s line-up includes Florence and the Machine, who shot to fame with their debut album Lungs in 2009. Florence Welch, with her distinctive voice and ethereal live performances is the stuff of festival folklore and definitely one to watch out for.
Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys are also set to perform, with their latterly acquired lounge pop sound and perhaps a few punk rock belters from their early years.
Electronic duo, The Chemical Brothers will also be in attendance, fresh off the back of their latest album, No Reason, released in March of this year.
Other headliners include 90s American band, Pavement and French indie rock outfit, Phoenix.
5 – 8 July
The beloved Cruilla Festival returns to Barcelona to lay on a three day festival frenzy from 5-8 July.
Overlooking the Mediterranean at the Parc del Forum, Cruilla is not only a cathedral to live music, but also hosts a prestigious comedy festival.
On this year’s roster is iconic Icelandic group, Sigus Rós. About to release their first album in 10 years, the Rekyavik ensemble are known for singing in Vonleska, a collection of mysterious sounds of their own invention, as well as singing in their native tongue.
Legendary Barcelona locals and psychodelic rock group, Sidonie, will be greeted by adoring fans as they deliver their characteristic funky sound with anthemic choruses for the crowd to sing along to.
Amaia, 2017 winner of Operación Triunfo, the biggest singing contest in Spain, will also be performing. She was a Eurovision contestant in 2018 and her hit single, Reencuentro, has 32 million streams. She has collaborated with well known Spanish artists such as Alizzz and Aitana.
Also performing are Placebo, The Offspring, Franz Ferdinand, Carolina Durante, Alt-J, Leiva, Rubén Blades and Ladilla Rusa.
13 – 16 July
Next on the list is the International Festival of Benicassim, aka FIB. Best known as a coastal resort located just north of the city of Valencia, Benicassim offers festies more than just live music. Revellers are known to partake in beach activities by day and party hard with an eclectic mix of live indie rock and pop by night.
Organisers boast that FIB resembles a summer holiday, and it’s not hard to see why. From lounging on the beach to wind surfing and scuba diving, FIB is particularly popular among festival-goers from the UK and Germany, who come to soak up the sun on the Costa del Azahor before finding their way to one of the three main stages in the evening.
Headline acts include throwback west coast punk band, The Offspring, rumoured to be working on their 11th album.
London band and Brit Award winners, Bastille will also be performing. The band, who famously cameoed in hit series Game Of Thrones, released their 4th studio album, Give Me The Future, last year.
Leeds Indie rock favourites, Kaiser Chiefs will also be in attendance, as will singer-song writer Tom Odell. Other artists include Vetusta Morla, Crystal Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, The Wombats and 2ManyDjs.
Cala Mijas Festival
31 August – 2 September
The unassuming town of La Cala de Mijas, with its 4,000 inhabitants and quaint whitewashed houses, doesn’t exactly scream music festival.
But for the second year in a row this one-horse-town will be swarmed by music lovers flocking to the 50,000 capacity Sonora Mijas venue.
Cala Mijas is the youngest festival on our list, with 2023 being only its second edition.
Headlining this year will be the five-piece, Montreal indie rock band, Arcade Fire. Fronted by a husband and wife duette and accompanied by their multi-instrumental band mates, their set is definitely not to be missed.
New York, garage rock revival band, The Strokes, are also due to put in a shift. Veterans of the Spanish festival circuit, their early distinctive upbeat chords and distressed vocals combined with their new wave sound of recent years is sure to be a show stopper.
Also performing are Foals, Idles, M83, Moderat, Underworld, Siouxsie, José González, Arca and others. With Florence & The Machine set to wrap things up with a bang.
Click here for all further information about the Cala Mijas Festival, including the full line-up. Click here for tickets.