What is La Folle Journée?
The first La Folle Journee ("The Crazy Day") music festival was held in 1995, in the French city of Nantes, one of Niigata's sister cities. This festival was designed to overturn common-sense opinions about classical music being serious and perhaps even a little boring: the Artistic Director of the original La Folle Journee festival, Rene Martin, hoped to help younger people discover instead how beautiful and exciting classical music can be when heard with fresh ears in new surroundings.
The festival soon caught on in other countries as well, with the first one in Japan being held in Tokyo in 2005. Kanazawa has had La Folle Journee since 2008, and the Lake Biwa area and Niigata have also been hosting these acclaimed music festivals every year since 2010.