The 2016 Frome Festival will be held from 1-10th July.
This year’s Festival will see Frome come to life again with nearly 200 events spread through- out the town. The theme for 2016 celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare, as shown by this year’s brochure cover designed by the Festival’s designer Sholto.
Headlining acts include singer/songwriter and activist Billy Bragg; the Ukulele Orchestra of GB; Bruce Foxton’s From the Jam, Chart topping Rock band Reef, and James Browns’ legendary saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis. Arthur Lee’s Californian rock band ‘Love’ reunite with ‘Love revisited’ for a special pre Festival show.
Frome FM is working with the Festival again this year on the Frome FM Festival lounge at the Granary. Free events start with an opening party – a complimentary double bill of electro legends Alan Clayson and Sweet Machine. Later in the week are the Lump Chronicles, Worry Dolls and Bonne Nouvelle, Three is the Magic Number, the Three Corners and Molly Ross Gum Girl. Ticketed events include comedienne Viv Groskop (one of Jo Brand’s favourites) and Arch Garrison of North Sea Orchestra fame.
The popular Magical Folk Garden returns to the Archangel this year over four days from Tuesday to Thursday, with amongst others Al O’Kane, Alex Taylor, Beth Porter and Rivers of England, and on the last weekend the famous Sensonic dance night at the Silk Mill. There are free music nights at the Cornerhouse including The Valley and Flash Harry, with the Mother Ukers and John D Revelator at the Griffin. At the Artisan this year there is a Free Festival on the terrace and followed by Festival Jazz Monday.
Adding some local drama, Frome Drama Club are back once more – this time with a bittersweet comedy one act drama, The Private Ear by Sir Peter Shaffer. This event was inadvertently omitted from the brochure but a quick search in our line-up page will reveal that you have plenty of opportunities to catch this production at the Steiner Academy from 6th to 9th July.
There are many daytime events, including some free and low cost workshops from Making a Book Cover, A Beginner Jewellery Making day, Vintage Hair and Makeup, to a Photo Walk around our historic town. The ever popular Hidden Gardens takes place from Friday 8th-Sunday 10th with lots of new gardens to explore this year. The Frome Artists Open Studios are open both weekends with many open throughout the week. There will also be Art exhibitions including the Evolver Magazine Prize exhibition at the Black Swan and the Art Car Boot sale on the last Sunday.
This year the Frome Treasure Hunt is back, and the theme is ‘Doorways of Frome’ with a £200 Annette Gabbedey jewellery prize to be won. In addition Black Swan Arts have organised a Secret Swans trail of artworks throughout the town with badges to be won and a secret auction of the artworks on show.
Literary events this year start with Michael Wood’s talk ‘In Search of Shakespeare’ raising money for the historic St John’s restoraton appeal, and culminate with a script in hand performance of the controversial life of Dylan Thomas ‘From Laugharne to Frome’ at Rook lane Chapel. In between we have author talks, workshops at the library, the Short Story Competition Prize giving, and Small Publishers Fair. Competitions include a Short Story and Poetry slam, the Poetry Café Festival Poet Laureate, the Bard of Frome and the Book Lovers Quiz.
Children and Family events start with the Frome Festival Food Feast with many food stalls, a fabulous street market of arts, crafts & edible treats and superb live music; the Wild Golden Goose Chase at the Steiner School, the Higgledy Piggledy Pie puppet show by Noisy Oyster at the Merlin, and the White Row Summer night Festival and the Childrens Festival on the last weekend. The pop-up Festival Roti Shack at the Silk Mill will provide family friendly and deliciously authentic West Indian food, drop in for Caribbean flavours and Calypso cocktails.
Please check the website for full event listings which should go live by end of April. Printed brochures will be available in and around Frome, from beginning of May.
Tickets will go on sale for Festival Friends on 13th May, and the General Public on Sunday 15th May.
Box Office: 01373 455420
Here are a few highlights from the 2015 Frome Festival: