The 17th Frome Festival came to an exciting climax at the weekend with events attracting huge audiences following ten days of celebration.
Over 1000 in total were attracted to the Cheese and Grain to see The Wonder Stuff and Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th July respectively. Danceworks filled the Memorial Theatre for three shows; Sensonic packed out the Silk Mill on the last Saturday night; whilst Frome Symphony Orchestra; actor Dudley Sutton; writer and politician Ann Widdecombe, comedian Jeremy Hardy, and organist Peter King were amongst the many attractions drawing people into Frome from far and wide.
In all, the Festival listed 178 events in the programme, of which 61 were free admission, including art exhibitions, pub gigs, concerts in the park, walks, and many church based concerts. All of Frome’s well known venues contributed to the programming, with a combination of nationally- known and local performers drawing rave reviews. Of the 117 ticketed events, 37 had sold out by the final Friday of the Festival, with further sales to come.
“Attendances were tremendously good throughout the entire ten days” said Festival Director Martin Dimery, “probably the best ever. It was particularly good to know that on some nights events at several of our venues like Rook Lane, Cooper Hall and the Merlin Theatre were sold out at the same time. The Food Feast on the first Saturday was spectacularly busy with many stalls selling out of food well before the end of the evening. Thousands were drawn into town by the wonderful weather. ”
Figures at the time of going to press indicate that well over 8,000 tickets were bought in total. “Including the Food Feast, Open Studios and other free events, it’s safe to assume free events will have attracted perhaps another 6000 participants” continued Martin Dimery, who was celebrating his 10th anniversary as Festival Director. “Our thanks go out to the large number of people and organisations involved, who come up with much of our programme. It is truly a great reflection on the community spirit of the town that we can work together to create such a wonderful celebration. We are grateful to Frome Town Council and our sponsors for their generous support, but our total funding is far less than many other town of city festivals, many of which are struggling to survive. The Frome Festival has survived by focussing on its main asset, the brilliantly creative and supportive people of our town. We hugely look forward to another great festival in 2018.”