Rad Season’s European Tour

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International Travel. Epic Adventure. No Limits.

It all started a little over three years ago. Spending an incredible honeymoon traveling across Latin America with my beautiful wife Kat sparked something truly amazing. For one, I realized I get to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate. Secondly, with the soppy stuff aside, I quickly became aware of how difficult it was to find cool events and festivals that had a bit of a different element to them. It got me thinking…

What if there was some kind of hub that outlined where, when and how every action sport or epic cultural event was taking place? And it didn’t just stop in Latin America. I knew there was always something rad worth going to somewhere in the world at any point in time. I just had to find it..

Kat and Oli Russell-Cowan Volcano boarding in Nicaragua on their honeymoon.

By the time Kat and I got back to our home in Australia I went straight to work. For the next three years, my face was stuck behind a computer screen searching for festivals and crazy events to include on my website. Long sleepless nights were spent looking for partners, sponsors and like-minded content writers to fill up the page.

When I came across an event I’d never heard of before, the adrenaline starts pumping. My mind would start racing and I would think to myself.. “I’ve got to go to this thing!”

I was finally fed up with all the computer work (although it gave me a great foundation) and was ready to get out there and discover events for myself. I decided to plan an epic European summer festival tour that would combine action sports events, epic music festivals and outdoor events. I wanted to see anything and everything from the ridiculous cultural events to the quirky food and drink festivals. I built Rad to not only discover the best events in the world but also to help fellow adrenaline seekers find out where you can locate amazing adventures in all these incredible locations. This set the stage for finding these experiences before and during the festivals. The coolest part was that all I had to do was dig through Rad Season’s database and match it with my calendar before fully planning the trip!

As if a European Tour wasn’t already epic enough, I wanted to add an extra interesting layer to it all. I decided to bring along my wife and our two-year-old son Theo. People have told me I’m crazy which is part of the reason why I’m going for it.

I want to prove to anyone following my story that it is in fact possible to start your own business and travel the world as a family man seeking adrenaline-packed adventures.

Lucky enough for me, my wife has been extremely supportive and came on full time to help build Rad Season even further. We quickly found out Theo is a festival-head himself after witnessing him grin from ear to ear while watching motocross riders going ballistic in the air at X Games. With the fam fully on board and my schedule packed, it’s now time to take on this rad lifestyle I envisioned three years ago! Follow me as I embark on the first five festivals during this epic journey…

Rad’s European Tour Part 1

1. Frühlingsfest Munich

Oli Russell-Cowan getting ready for Frühlingsfest. Prost!

Although Oktoberfest is the epitome of a beer festival, I heard that it had a little sister. She takes place in a bit of a smaller and more local of an affair which is fine by me. It also occurs in the springtime, hence the name Frühlingsfest (Springfest). Seemed like a solid place to start my European tour.

2. Slam Dunk Festival

Photo credit: Slam Dunk Festival

This one is really going to hit home for me. Growing up in London during the 90’s put me right in the middle of the skateboarding craze and punk music scene. Some of my fondest memories as a teen were going to watch some of the sickest skate punk bands from the U.S. touring in Camden and Islington. Boy, am I getting old…

Once I saw the line up it was truly a slam dunk for me. There’s no chance I could miss NOFX, Bad Religion, Millencolin, Less than Jake and Lagwagon. Punk skaters.. See you there!!!

3. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling

The madness that is Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling

This one is so strangely appealing to me. Grown adults acquire a massive cheese formation and roll it down a steep arse hill in Gloucester, England then go chase it. First one to the bottom that retrieves the cheese wins. Weird but absolutely brilliant if you ask me. I can only imagine how entertaining this will be.

4. FISE World Montpellier

For the action sport junkie in me, the FISE is a no-brainer. It’s considered one of the largest action sports festivals in the world and takes place in the beautiful city of Montpellier. Not much to complain about here. Can’t wait to kick it in France!

5. Wheels and Waves

A friend of mine showed me some epic video footage of this festival when he went a couple years back. To me it looked like the ultimate mix of surfing, skateboarding and motorsports. I was literally salivating while watching the video. By the time Kat, Theo and I get down to south west France being able to surf at this point will be extremely relaxing. Not a bad place to chill for a week if you ask me.

Check back soon… It’s time to go to Rad Hunting!


Feature image credit: FISE Montpellier Cedric De Rodot
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Oli Russell-Cowan

The concept for Rad Season came about when I was trekking around Latin America. I found it difficult to find cool events and festivals going on that were a bit different and had an element of adventure and general radness to them. I knew that there was always something rad worth going to somewhere in the world, but there was no single platform bringing them together for like-minded people. With over 15 years experience in international business development, spanning multiple industries including action sports, events, media, digital, ICT, travel and tourism, I decided to combine them all with Rad Season.


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