Thanks to everyone who attended, exhibited, contributed or performed in the Frome Festival 2022. What a terrific festival it was following pandemic closure and reduction in 2020 and 21. We were absolutely delighted with the attendance at so many events. When the final accounts are done, we anticipate in the region of 8,000 tickets will have been sold for just over 100 ticketed events. These ranged from small scale talks and workshops accommodating perhaps 20 people, to over 800 for Jo Whiley’s DJ night.
In addition, thousands more attended the annual Food Feast as well as free pub gigs, exhibitions and outdoor events in Victoria Park, including two children’s theatre companies. The exhibitions were outstanding this year and special commendation must go to the inaugural Photo Frome series of displays. It’s always good to see other leisure and sporting activities featuring in the festival too.
There is always much work to be done after the festival in paying out box office takings to the various groups, promoters and performers. Last year, the Frome Festival greatly stretched its financial resources by running reduced capacities due to Covid restrictions, but this year, thanks to generous funding from Frome Town Council, the Cooper Hall Trust, the Foyle Foundation and our regular commercial sponsors, we are hoping the financial outcome will secure our immediate future.
After 14 festivals in 15 years, I shall be standing down from the post of Creative Director. It has been a challenging but fulfilling post. My thanks to Beverly Jones, our long serving (and suffering!) General Manager and our Treasurer Margaret Perry, who I have worked alongside for most of my time with the Frome Festival. We are all part-time and so need enormous voluntary help, much of it led by our excellent Chair of the trustees, Gavin Rea. There are also many contributors who make the festival happen, too many to mention, but particular thanks must go to all the venues who provide much of the programme and host so many people throughout the 10 days.
The Frome Festival is a year-round operation and so I will be continuing into the autumn to finalise our accounts and then hand over to my successor, Adam Laughton. I wish Adam and the team every success in the coming years. It has been an honour and privilege to direct the festival and I’m so pleased that, often in the face of much adversity, the festival has survived for over 21 years in all, and is an established part of Frome’s wonderful cultural calendar.
Martin Dimery FRSA