The Frome Festival is a 10 day community arts festival which is run as a hybrid fringe and was set up in 2001. Many events are put on by independent event organisers and included in the programme. The festival itself programmes a selection of events and some organisers donate their profits back to the festival. The success of these events contributes to continuation of the Festival. We do hope that you will support them.
Friday 1st JulyEvent 111 – 19.30-21.30 JAVA JAM – Rook Lane Chapel – £12.00
Java Jam will be playing a sublime mixture of jazz, bossa nova, and vintage pop with their own twist. Expect anything from American songbook classics and Antonio Carlos Jobim to The Stranglers and The Beatles. Vocals: Sarah-Jane Hassell, Keyboards: Roger Lewin, Tenor Saxophone/Flute: Phil Brown.
Event 210 – 12.00-14.00 – FEAST OF THE GODS – Victoria Park – FREE
Come one, come all for a celebration of food, music and love in a free, fun, family event that’s sure to be a feast for all the senses! Join Little Bulb and their merry band of theatrical chefs as they serve you a delicious mixture of canapés, drinks and joyous live music in the park. Bring picnics and blankets and we’ll provide the party! Little Bulb are an award-winning national touring theatre company based in Frome, they make work with music at its heart and perform it with humour and joy speaking to the sense of wonder in everyone. Supported by The Cooper Hall Foundation
Saturday 2nd July
A great choice of delicious food and drink from local traders with live music and entertainment by the river in the Market Yard. The Frome Street Bandits will open the live music with a procession from St John’s Church at 5pm making their way to entertain the crowds at Market Yard! Headline band is Jump 66 with local support. Expect street performers, Rock Choir, comedy and more.
Event 310 – 14.30-16.00 – FROME TOWN WALK – £5.00
Frome Town Walks are organised by the Frome Society for Local Study. They are designed to give an overview and understanding of the town’s development throughout its 1300+ year history; from its founding in 685 AD by St Aldhelm, through its heyday as a major centre of the wool trade, and on into the industrial age and the more recent past. The walk will also include many listed buildings with their broad range of religious and vernacular architecture.
Event 317 – 19.30-22.00 – ROGER RCGOUGH – Merlin Theatre – £17.50
Safety in Numbers is a new collection from the nation’s favourite poet. Traversing rocky terrain with the assurance of a poetry Rover on Mars, McGough brings down to earth the strangeness of a time on hold. Staycations, adultery in lockdown, ghosts and gamblers, as well as playful advice to up and coming poets. (Don’t do it!) With the gift of many tongues, playful, surreal and tender, McGough ‘a trickster you can trust’ reveals the telling moments of our lives. President of the Poetry Society, he has been honoured with a CBE for services to literature.
Event 406 – 18.00-20.30 – FROME TUNNEL TOUR – £12.50
Event 609 – 18.00-20.30 – FROME TUNNEL TOUR – £12.50
Event 901 – 9.45-12.15 – FROME TUNNEL TOUR – £12.50
Another chance to join members of the Frome Tunnels Project on one of their ever popular tours. Listen to stories of Frome’s history both above and below the streets and visit some of the sites that the team have investigated in their search for the famed Frome Tunnels. Please be aware that we will be underground for short periods only and that a good level of mobility is necessary to access tight spaces. Tours will start outside the library and hard hats will be provided. Wellington boots are essential and a torch and gloves are recommended. Age 14+
Event 410 – 20.00-2100 – DAVID OLUSOGA – A HOUSE THOUGH TIME – £18.00
The Frome Festival is delighted to present David Olusoga OBE in the second Bob Morris Memorial Lecture, honouring our late chair of the Festival trustees. David is a British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and film-maker. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester. He has presented documentaries on the BBC and contributed to The One Show and The Guardian. His most recent TV series include Black and British: A Forgotten History, The World’s War, A House Through Time and the BAFTA -winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners. One hour talk including questions.
Event 511 – 19.00-21.30 – UKULELE WORKSHOP – Cheese & Grain – £12.00
Learn the Ukulele with Roger Southard. Suitable for beginners. There will be a limited amount of instruments to borrow. If you need to borrow one, please let the Box office know, on booking.
Bill Smarme takes a light-hearted, irreverent musical look at the coming of rock and roll music to these shores in the 1950s; its energising impact on the youth of the time and one impressionable teenager in particular. Music from the Bill Smarme Rock’n’Roll Trio.
Event 707 – 16.30-17.30 – THE WAGON OF DREAMS: A NEW ADVENTURE – Victoria Park – FREE
Event 806 – 16.30-17.30 – THE WAGON OF DREAMS: A NEW ADVENTURE – Victoria Park – FREE
An interactive outdoor show for children. Three best friends are going on an exciting ocean adventure. Come and meet the outrageous mermaids and fantastical sea creatures who live in the wonderful “Wagon of Dreams”. A playful, inventive family show, set on a retro caravan: packed with puppetry, music and laughter. Bring a blanket to sit on the grass. All performances are relaxed with integrated Sign Supported English. Funded by Frome Town Council. Find accessibility tools on our website at www.jellyfishtheatre.com. Age 3+
Event 718 – 19.30-22.30 – THE HAUNTING OF RICHARD III – Ecos Stage/the Merlin – £15.00
Event 811 – 19.30-22.30 – THE HAUNTING OF RICHARD III – Ecos Stage/the Merlin – £15.00
Event 919 – 19.30-22.30 – THE HAUNTING OF RICHARD III – Ecos Stage/the Merlin – £15.00
The eve of the battle of Bosworth Field: King Richard the Third is haunted by the spectres of the past, leading him through the events that will lead to his final downfall. The premiere of this musical, written by Frome Festival Creative Director Martin Dimery and composer David Hynds, throws a new light on the the king whose remains were finally discovered under a car park in Leicester ten years ago. The production celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Ecos amphitheatre using the atmospheric backdrop of the standing stones to tell a tale that has intrigued the public for centuries.
Event 722 – 20.00-21.30 – CHRIS JAGGER – TALKING TO MYSELF – Flow Bar – £10.00
Chris Jagger released his memoir entitled, Talking to Myself plus a new record Mixing up the Medicine last September, both of which have had excellent reviews in the press in the UK and the USA. In Talking to Myself Chris lifts the lid on one of the most colourful and exotic periods in British cultural history, from the bombsites and ration books of post-war Dartford, to life with brother Mick, and the glittery underground of the 60s. Chris will read excerpts from his book, converse with the audience and then, together with violin virtuoso Elliet Mackrell will play a selection of his songs.
Thursday 7th JulyEvent 713 – FROME FESTIVAL QUIZ – Frome Rugby Club – £12.00 for a table of 4.
Dynamic quiz master Paul Hewitt, fresh from his triumphant appearance on ITV’s The Chase, returns with this popular contest. The winning team receives (and retains for a year) the Martin Bax shield, 4 bottles of wine and individual miniature shields to keep. There are prizes for the runners-up and the bottom 2 teams. This is a fun event but with a serious side, suitable for all ages. There will be a raffle with desirable prizes kindly donated by local businesses. The bar will be open throughout the evening.
Event 801 FROME HIDDEN GARDENS – 10.00-17.30 – £5.00 (3 days 8-10th July).
Following the amazing success of 2021, the Gardeners of Frome will throw open their garden gates once again. For three days between the 8-10th of July, we have an exciting rolling programme of Hidden Gardens; with different gardens opening on different days. There are more than 30 gardens on display with at least 12 gardens opening for the first time. Many gardens are offering refreshments with the proceeds going to charities of the gardener’s choice.
Event 910 – 14.00-15.00 – CHALGUH CHENGI LIVE MUSIC AND DANCE – Victoria Park – FREE
Free live music and dance in the park with Arts Council funded Chalguh Chengi! Chalguh Chengi – ‘Spirit of live music and dance’ Turkish – is returning to the Frome Festival to revel and share its high energy, family friendly exploration of the music and dances of Turkey and the Middle East. Expect swords, cymbals, sticks and lots of line dancing. Yallah Frome!
Beginners Jewellery workshop – Christina Oswin Jewellery
Event 1001 10.00-13.00
This workshop is for complete beginners to make a piece of silver jewellery. Learn techniques such as sawing, filing, hammering and soldering to make a pendant, ring or bangle. The cost of the silver is additional.
Event 1020 Book Lovers Quiz – £20 for a table of four.
Frome Rugby Club 20.00-22.45
We’re back! A light-hearted quiz for serious book-lovers. Put together a team and get your thinking caps on as David Heath and his team set the questions to find out who will be Frome Festival’s Bookworms of the Year 2022. This year we’ve moved to the more spacious surroundings of Frome Rugby Club, with plenty of parking available. £20 for a table of four.
Event 1021 – 20.00-22.45 – RADIO BANSKA – Ecos Stage/the Merlin – £12.00
Performance of World Jazz music featuring Dave Spencer and Tony Barby on guitars; Mirek Salmon on accordion, Sol Ahmed on bass and Jon Clarke on drums. Much of their material is original, drawing on Balkan passion and Latin rhythms with a dash of Levantine mystery. An ideal festival finale on the ECOs amphitheatre from this much travelled and experienced band. The show will transfer into the Merlin Theatre in the event of poor weather. Guitarist Tony Barby also holds the distinction of having appeared in the first ever Ecos Festival in 1992, in the band which performed The Who’s rock opera “Tommy”.