Frome Festival was deeply saddened to announce the death of its former Chairman Dr Robert (Bob) Morris. Bob became a member of the Board of the Frome Festival in 2004, and was appointed Chairman in 2005.
He succeeded Dennis Buffrey as Chairman, describing him as a “hard act to follow,” but then made the role his own over the next 15 years. Under his leadership, the Festival grew from strength to strength as its reputation and popularity increased. A major achievement was to oversee the Festival’s transition to Charity status. Bob retired from the Board in January 2021 after nearly 17 years having made an enormous contribution not only to the Festival but also to the town of Frome.
Due to continued COVID restrictions, Frome Festival increased the number of open-air events taking place, although because of its attraction and large crowds, the Food Feast was not able to go ahead. A covered outdoor stage on the lovely ECOS amphitheatre, next to the Merlin theatre enabled many events to go ahead. The Silk Mill presented concerts in their courtyard. Marston Park also included free live entertainment nightly. There were a number of pop-up performances around town, with free events in Victoria Park and Rodden Meadow.
Headliners: Reginald D Hunter, The Lightning Seeds, Paul Foot, Mitch Benn, John Hegley, Scott Mills DJ set.
Highlights: The Frome Festival’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition at Rook Lane, Flash Mob Opera, The Bob Morris Lecture: “The First Seven Years” presented by Festival president and founder Martin Bax. Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra on the Outdoor stage at Ecos. Chalguh Chengi a free family-friendly event in Victoria Park – A Turkish, Oriental extravaganza with singing, dancing, veils, swords, drums, oud, accordion, violin, clarinet, zurna, davul, etc.. The 6 member band, Hazir, based in and around Bristol, and the accordionist, Jo Levine, based just outside Frome. The star of the festival was the Hidden Gardens, organised by Sharon Rossiter, which attracted record numbers.