What's La Folle Journée?

What is La Folle Journée?

La Folle Journée is the name of a classical music festival that was first held in 1995 in Nantes, a port town located in the northwest region of France.

It is based on a unique concept that overturns conventional thinking on classical music. Retaining its title of La Folle Journée (Days of Enthusiasm), it has developed into one of the most exciting music festivals among the numerous offerings in Europe.
Each year, the festival decides on a composer who will be the main focus of the festival. At the Cite des Congres, a convention center of the city of Nantes and the venue of the festival, concerts with an average length of 45 minutes are held in nine different locations from morning to evening, which means that about 300 concerts are held in a five-day period.
The performing artists include both young hopefuls and major names in the music world. The basic philosophy of René Martin, the artistic director of the festival is that topflight performances can be offered at low prices to develop a new generation of listeners who will support classical music in the future. The average cost of a performance ranges between 5 and 22 Euros (700-3,000 yen), which is amazingly low for concert standards.
This year, which marks the tenth anniversary of the event, about 120,000 people attended the five-day festival. About 60% of them were experiencing classical music concerts for the first time, and a large number of children attended.
The festival has also been held in Lisbon since 2000 and in Bilbao (Spain) since 2002, in both cases to great acclaim.

Themes of the festival in Nantes up to now and number of tickets sold.

Theme The Number of Concerts Tickets Sold
1995 Mozart 34 18,238
1996 Beethoven 49 30,159
1997 Schubert 74 40,278
1998 Brahms 110 48,520
1999 French Music [Berlioz, Fauret, Ravel] 105 58,112
2000 Bach 202 74,518
2001 Russian Music 219 85,368
2002 Haydn & Mozart 167 82,122
2003 Italian Baroque 229 103,970
2004 Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Liszt from Romantic Music 250 113,430
2005 Beethoven and His Fellows    

LA FOLLE JOUREE au JAPON - "Days of Enthusiasm” Music Festival 2005