As the opening set started at Festival de Frue last year, it was clear the organizers wouldn’t be making a profit. Quirky J-pop act Wednesday Campanella, who had played to a capacity crowd at Fuji Rock Festival a few months earlier, kicked off its performance in front of an audience of just a few dozen people, spread around a venue that looked more like a glorified school gymnasium.

By the end of the show, there were still only about 100 people watching, but the buoyant atmosphere suggested that the weekend wouldn’t be a total washout. Over the next two days, Frue served up a diverse selection of sounds — spiritual jazz, Turkish psych, indie rock, slow-motion techno — crowned by a trio of performances by the Master Musicians of Joujouka, a Sufi trance band from Morocco who I’d never imagined anyone would be brave enough to bring to Japan.

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