FISE Montpellier 2020

8:30am 20 May - 10:00pm 24 May, 2020
FISE Montpellier 2020 Starts In

Plan for FISE Montpellier 2020

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Rives du Lez, Montpellier

FISE Montpellier: A World Celebration of Extreme Sports

The International Festival of Extreme Sports (FISE) is one of the world’s most glorious action sporting events. Contestants from around the globe compete in various skateboard, BMX, mountain bike, wakeboard and inline skate challenges. The annual festival takes place in Montpellier, France where over 600,000 spectators gather to appreciate some of the best athletes in action sports.

FISE sets itself apart from other action sporting events through one simple method: Free admission for all. Thousands will assemble on the river banks for an outrageous display of tricks and freestyles on water and land courses.

‘Witness the impossible take place over a variety of extreme sport competitions during a five-day span that will leave you utterly stunned.’

Your experience at FISE

I had a feeling that there was going to be a bit going on at FISE but completely underestimated how much rad stuff they would have at the venue. What can only be described as the Disneyland of Action sports events, FISE Montpellier was next level! As soon as you get to Rives Du Lez, you can hear the commentators and fans going wild. The first day, I didn’t know where to begin; I was like a kid in a candy store.

Best views of FISE

Spectators and tourists will be happy to know that the FISE offers free admission to anyone willing to attend. The river-side environment offers the public a truly unique viewing experience.

Stake out a seat in the stands for the roller skating and biking competitions before heading over to the river bank for an epic water sport showing. It is the perfect location for summer and fall events that the entire family can enjoy!

What to wear

The weather in the south of France is mild usually at this time of the year. Prepare yourself for a sunny day. Wear comfortable shoes for walking through the crowds, the area is larger than you think. Most visitors are wearing skate clothes. 

What to pack

Pack your sunglasses and some sunscreen as well as a water bottle to stay hydrated during the day. A good camera is handy to capture the action.

Buy tickets

One of the massive draws is that FISE Montpellier is a free event. That’s right! There is no need to book tickets way in advance. The whole of Montpellier, every action sports nut in France, traveling competitors and anyone else with a sense of a good time would be heading to Montpellier over the Ascension Day Weekend.

FISE Event Schedule

FISE Montpellier takes place over five days. Every day is action-packed from morning till evening.

BMX Freestyle Park

What would appear to be the main attraction is the mega BMX Freestyle Park. The guys at FISE have 20+ years of experience putting this annual event together and this year didn’t disappoint. The Freestyle Park is sick and getting to witness some of the best BMX riders in the world tackle it was all time.

Street Park

You’d think that having this freestyle park set up was enough but oh no; if you walk further down you are greeted by the Street Park; where they have both Skateboarding Street and BMX Street.

Flatland

Next up is the BMX Flatland area where they have the UCI BMX Flatland World Cup. Some insane skills and balance were showcased from these guys and the crowd was going mental up on the hill overlooking the whole comp.

Carrying along the river past the Flatland and breakdancing area is the Scooter and Roller Freestyle Park; another rad purpose-built park for the scooter and rolling blading enthusiasts out there.

Going in the opposite direction, there is this awesome little mini ramp. There was always someone turning up on the mini ramp for the whole 5 days of the event.

Parkour

Beside the river is the FISE Parkour World Cup course. Don’t be skeptical about this aspect of the event you will be convinced otherwise after seeing the guys and girls flipping over this thing at mack ten.

Wakeboarding at the Water Park

Imagine taking something which is normally reserved to lakes and the sea and whacking it into the middle of the city; that’s what you have at Rives Du Lez. They went and built an epic cable park line right in the middle of the event venue. It is super sick to see all the amateurs and pro riders hitting the kickers and fun box along the river. This is definitely one of the highlights of the event for sure.

Spine Ramp and Concerts

Two joining half pipes create an epic Spine Ramp with banging tunes coming out of the Radar concert stage. Some of the best French rap and hip-hop artists hit the stage with BMX, skate, scooter and inline riders going off on the Spine Ramp, much to the spectator’s delight.

BMX Dirt at Ode a la Mer

BMX dirt returns to Fise at a different location on a 12-hectare site in Perols. The venue is easy to get to on the tram line and was well worth the visit to see some of the world’s best dirt BMX riders sending it.

Top Tips

Wear comfortable shoes: There will be a lot of walking through the crowds at the event so we recommend flat and comfortable shoes. 

Take clothes that can get dirty: With the sunny weather in Montpellier the grass hills at the river can get dusty during the day, especially with 600,000 visitors.

Bring some water: With the event running throughout the day, it’s a good idea to bring water to avoid dehydration.

History of FISE

The event was originally conceived in 1997 by college student Herve Andre-Benoit. The first-ever FISE featured 100 riders and a crowd of 35,000 during a three-day span in Palavas Les-Flots. After quickly gaining international attention, the festival moved to Montpellier’s River Lez where public seating on the water now offers an inspiring front-row experience. 

Other event locations expanded to Dubai, Tunisia and Budapest. In 2007 the tour was organized under the name of FISE Xperience, which represents France’s best athletes throughout a five-city tour. By 2014, the action sports event transitioned into the world tour now known as the FISE World Series.

Things to do in Montpellier

Walking around the city discovering the old town and street art scene is cool. Jump on a tour and head up the Porte du Peyrou one morning before the start of the comp. The Porte du Peyrou is Montpellier’s version of the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the city’s most famous landmark. 

The Arc is also the entrance to the Royal Palace of the Peyrou and offers incredible views over the whole of Montpellier from the top. If you are in the area on a Sunday, you can also find a local flea market in the Place du Peyrou. If you take your family to Montpellier we can promise, they will have an amazing time exploring the city.

What to eat in Montpellier

Montpellier has a wide selection of wine bars, restaurants, cafes and more, located throughout the old quarters and squares around town. Exploring the city we stumbled across Jardin du Lez, a wicked little mini ramp and pump track on the river with a beer garden and heaps of fast food trucks flogging delicious street food. This is such a sick little spot to soak up the afternoon sun. You can even play a bit of Pétanque if you want to hang with the locals.

How to get there

By Plane

There are a number of direct flights from Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and from London. The Airport is then only a 15-minute drive into the town. You can also take a direct airport shuttle, which departs every hour and costs 1.60 euros. 

By Car

The city is located only 2 hours west of Marseille and 3.5 hours from Barcelona and Nice. Montpellier offers ample parking options with combined public transport services. There are a number of indoor and outdoor parking lots, with direct access to tramway lines 1, 2 and 4, as well as a range of local buses. 

By Train

The main train station Montpellier-Saint Roch TGV, located right in the city centre. There are direct trains to Montpellier from Paris, Barcelona and Brussels.

Getting to the event

The easiest and fastest way to get to Rives Du Lez is by the city tram, which runs every couple of minutes. Fares are only 1.60 euros for a one-way ticket but try and bring exact change as the ticket machines do not give you any. 

Avoid taxis if you can. We took one from the airport on arrival and set us back around 40 euros for a 15-minute ride, which I thought was pretty high! You can also jump in an Uber, as there were plenty around zipping people back and forth to the entrance of the venue.

Where to stay

Montpellier offers dozens of housing options that include hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts. To make your planning as easy as possible, take a look at the map here for the best hotels; guest houses, hostels and Airbnb lodging choices in the city of Montpellier.

How to get around

Getting around Montpellier is fairly simple. The Montpellier Mediterranee Airport (MPL) is the closest landing point to the event which includes shuttle buses and tram stops for passengers without a car.

The relatively small city has several convenient transportation options including cars, taxis, buses and trams. The Montpellier Tramway is a great way to get around town, considering it contains the biggest tram network in practically all of Europe. Although it is considered a walking city, some of the stations even include bike rentals for added convenience.

FISE is one of the largest action sports events. Are you looking for events that are lesser-known? Read more about Simple Session in Estonia and Ghetto Games in Latvia.

Photo credits: Oli Russell-Cowan

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