We were proud to be one of few festivals able to continue despite COVID restrictions and delighted to report that the Festival was a huge success.
While some events were not viable financially with reduced audiences, the vast majority went ahead. The Silk Mill was a great success, re-locating its events to an outside stage in the courtyard and keeping the audience dry under awnings. So too, the Ecos amphitheatre (next to the Merlin on the Frome College site) provided a beautiful and safe open- air setting for some wonderful concerts.
Top: The Fabulous Red Diesel, Bottom: Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra
Free events at Marston Park, the glamping site just outside of Frome, were hugely popular, and walks and talks like the Open Studios and Hidden Gardens flourished, with people determined to make the best of the festival, despite the weather. Hidden Gardens sold a record number of maps – 1200 at the last count.
Our thanks go out to all of the Hidden Gardeners for opening their lovely gardens to the public during the 20th anniversary Frome Festival. The revenue from this is vital in maintaining the future of the Festival which operates on a very tight budget at the best of times. Our enormous gratitude goes to Sharon Rossiter who volunteers to run this important event with such enthusiasm and skill.
Congratulations should go to the Memorial Theatre, Rook Lane Arts and the Merlin for continuing with safe-distanced shows, and to Christ Church, Trinity and St. Johns churches for their excellent additions to the programme. There are other contributors, too numerous to mention, deserving of our thanks.
Despite a reduced programme on previous years, we were still able to present an average of 12 events a day for 10 days, about half of them free. The Flash Mob Opera surprised many shoppers in the Westway Precinct, whilst a Turkish extravanganza of dance and music “Chalguh Chenghi” drew hundreds to Victoria Park. Frome Town Council’s “Picnic in the Meadow” at Rodden Meadow was also highly popular.
Many thanks to our sponsors, some of whom have endured a very difficult 18 months, and to the Frome Society for Local Study; the Frome Community Lottery and Frome Town Council for their much- needed financial support.
With COVID restrictions continuing into the Festival, we had to subsidise many events that we’d hope might bring in much needed revenue. Despite this, we sold approaching 4000 tickets across all events, almost up to our usual expectation. This will greatly help contain the expected financial pressures. None the less, we are confident that the resources will be available to ensure the Frome Festival enters its third decade in 2022.
Thanks to all who supported us.
Martin Dimery FRSA
NB: If you’d like to save the date for next year‘s Festival it will run from Friday 1st – Sunday 10th July 2022!