The Frome Festival has announced a massive opening night party on Friday July 5th with internationally famous Radio 1 DJ Judge Jules presenting “Judge Jules Live”, featuring a spectacular 10 piece band at the Cheese and Grain hall.
The full Festival line-up will be revealed in the first week of May, when 20,000 brochures hit the streets of Frome and across the West Country. This year’s cover once again features the distinctive art work of the illustrator Sholto Walker, reknowned especially for his work on children’s books. The image features the words “Frome Festival” as ingots emerging from a cauldron of molten metal, relating to the Festival theme which celebrates the 200th anniversary of JW Singer, who created one of the world’s finest Arts Metal Works in Frome. Singer’s originally produced candlestick holders from their premises in Market Place. The same building is now occupied by Eyetech Opticians and coincidentally, on the first floor, the Frome Festival office. Singer’s business expanded into the large riverside factory overlooking the Market Yard, before moving to an out- of- town site in recent years. During their heyday, Singer’s produced such revered statues as Justice, which crowns the Old Bailey; Boudica on the Thames Embankment, and Alfred the Great in Winchester.
Local history has always been an important element in any Frome Festival, with the famous hidden Frome Tunnels walks again likely to be popular. Look out too for “Somerset and Wiltshire on Old Film” a fascinating presentation of original documentary footage presented by film maker David Parker at the Merlin Theatre on Friday 12th July.
The Festival brings many visitors into the town, especially for the Hidden Gardens, with a record number of 32 private gardens on show, including 24 new entries. The Open Studios will again take art lovers on a trail of studios, watching them at work and seeing their exhibits .
Literary events organised by Words@ Frome Festival are always popular, one of the highlights being the Small Publisher’s Fair on Saturday 6th at the Silk Mill, a busy space throughout the Festival’s ten days.
Frome has an impressive number of excellent performing spaces, including the Merlin and Memorial Theatres, the idyllic surroundings of Cooper Hall, and magnificent churches such as Christ Church, St. John’s and Trinity, all of which will host large and small scale concerts, comedy and other events. Workshops are available covering a wide range of arts and crafts. Nearly 200 individual events and a dozen exhibitions running throughout the Festival, make it the one of the largest of its kind in the UK.Tickets officially go on sale on Friday and Saturday May 17th and 18th May for subscribers to the Festival Friends, and on Sunday 19th to the general public in person and on Monday 20th online. The Festival box office will again be at the Cheese and Grain hall, but some events are already available directly through the box office of the hosting venue.