Cindy Castillo

Cindy Castillo


Cindy Castillo

Mad Cool Festival

Being More Mindful

Mad Cool Festival grew into one of Spain’s main events in five short years. The fifth anniversary in 2022 welcomed visitors from 82 countries with a lineup led by Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Florence + The Machine, The Killers, Placebo, Chvrches, alt-J and many more.

In Cindy Castillo’s eyes, there are multiple reasons for the festival’s meteoric rise, the lineup being one of them. “But it’s also the entire audience experience inside and around the festival. The great energy of Madrid also plays a big part: the sun, the food. We try to offer the biggest superstars as well as rising talent while you have the chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.”

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Diana De Brito, better known as IAMDDB, performs on stage at MadCool Festival 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Valeria Magri/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In post-pandemic Europe, festivals are especially endangered, because so many parts go into them, from the site, crews, artists, and vendors to attendees, sponsors and suppliers. Castillo points to “disproportionate increases in production costs, personnel shortage and artists’ booking fees getting higher while the average income of attendees is not increasing.”

The uncertainty can make it feel “like we are in a small boat on rough seas. However, I believe that within every crisis lies an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and to enhance what we offer to the audience to create strong relationships with our attendees. Therefore, strategic management, customer care and teamwork are probably the most important things to make it through any challenge.”

The pandemic has shown, that “when the industry pulls together, it can achieve amazing things,” according to Castillo, who adds, “The most important factor, without a doubt, to overcome these challenges is the team. Without a happy, engaged, dedicated, and healthy team, nothing else can succeed.”

Personally, the pandemic made Castillo more mindful about self-care. “I am a perfectionist as well as a person that loves overachieving. I am now embracing the concept of letting things go,” she says.