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Stage set for biggest ever Frome Festival

THE town is getting into the festival spirit as the biggest ever Frome Festival gets under way tomorrow, Friday 6th of July.

This year, the highly acclaimed Frome Festival will feature a fantastic line-up of events as the festival’s reputation continues to go from strength to strength. Now in its 12th year, the Frome Festival has been hailed as the most diverse and successful community arts festival in England.

See full line up here

Organisers of the Festival have signed up some of the best comedy acts and live musical talents the country has to offer, alongside interesting talks, exhibitions and workshops to make this year’s festival the biggest yet.

Creative director Martin Dimery said, “This year we have some incredible acts including Britpop band Reef, The Idiot Bastard Band comedians (Ade Edmondson, Phill Jupitus, Neil Innes and Rowland Rivron); Dr Phil Hammond and Shappi Korsandi, a talk with Jeremy Wade from TV’s River Monsters, and the return of the ever popular Frome Festival Feast. You can go to a glass blowing workshop, join in with a yoga session, go on a pub walk or see some of the finest acts from all across the country and so much more.

“There are well over 200 events in this year’s Frome Festival, there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone in Frome to attend at least one event. Frome Festival is a chance to engage in the history, culture and the bohemian feel of Frome.

“Each year the committee work to make the festival more attractive for people from all over the country. We want to raise the profile in order to keep the festival going. We live from year to year and we need the support to keep going.”

Amongst the big selling acts in the festival are Reef who are kicking off the festival on Friday 6th of July at 8.00pm in the Cheese and Grain. With a string of hits spanning from their first release Naked through to their UK number one album Glow, including songs such as Place Your Hands On and Come Back Brighter, this Somerset-based quartet will raise the roof and rock the town. Advance booking is recommended.

The popular Frome Festival Feast is set to take your taste buds on a round-the-world trip as food stalls dish up a range of global cuisine in the Market Yard car park on Saturday 7th of July from 5.30pm. This will be followed by Acoustic Plus in the Cheese and Grain.

Mark McGann and The Wellensian Consort will commemorate the pitchfork rebellion of 1685 and its place in the history of Frome on Wednesday 11th of July at 7.30pm at St John’s Church.

Comedian Shappi Khorsandi, will now perform at the Cheese and Grain at 8pm on Wednesday 11th of July at 8.00pm. The daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran, Shappi is feisty, flirty and effortlessly funny.

World music band Juju is set to perform on at the Cheese and Grain on Friday 13th of July at 8.00pm. Gambian griot Juldeh Camara is master of the fiery one-string ritti fiddle and a singer of mystic power. Driven by Justin Adams’ guitar, their fierce, startling combination of driving blues-rock and spine-tinglingly brilliant African sounds is gripping to watch, thrilling to hear and impossible not to dance to. Theirs is an urgent, intense and completely enveloping sound, earning them Mojo magazine’s World Music Album of the Year for their current CD In Trance.

Big audiences are anticipated for the Jubilee Concert by the Bathphil, the culmination of the classical programme at the Frome Festival on Saturday 14th of July at 7.30pm at St John’s Church. In a unique collaboration, the forces of Bath’s resident professional orchestra has joined with Frome’s community orchestra, under the baton of Frome Symphony’s music director Mark Gateshill, for a performance of Vaughan Williams’s Concerto Grosso. Tamsin Waley-Cohen makes her final appearance at the Festival with Vaughan Williams’s seldom performed Violin Concerto alongside masterpieces of English string writing performed by Bath Philharmonica under its music director and Frome Festival classical producer Jason Thornton.

Top local acts will also be taking centre stage. Pianists John Law and Stephen Marquiss and saxophone maestro, Josh Arcoleo, are some of the top performers from the local contingent set for the Frome Festival.

A Writers and Publishers’ Day will take place on Sunday 8th of July at Frome library with one-to-one writing surgeries with literary agents. The festival’s short story competition has attracted national attention with submissions from all over the country.

Tickets for Frome Festival events are available by calling the box office on 01373 455420 between 9.30am-2.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-5.00pm on Saturday.