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Issue 303 – What will you choose? Your town, your festival – make the most of it!

With the guarantee that there will be something for everybody at this year’s Frome Festival, the organisers have teamed up with the Frome Times to challenge you, the readers, to go to at least one of the 200 events taking place in your town. So what will you choose?

From some of the best comedy acts and live musical talents the country has to offer, to cutting edge art, interesting talks and workshops – the Frome Festival has it all. And the message from those who are working hard to pull the event together is simple – “make the most of it!”
The festival’s creative director, Martin Dimery told the Frome Times, “There are nearly 200 events in this year’s Frome Festival. Many of them are free in the park and in the pubs. There is also, of course, the Food Feast on Saturday 10th July. So there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone in Frome to attend at least one event.
“We have had great support from the people of Frome and also far beyond. Last year tourism in Frome increased by 73% during the festival.”
With news that ticket sales are up on all previous years so far, local people are being encouraged to get their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Top comedy

The organisers struggled to keep a straight face as they put together this year’s line-up. The 10th anniversary year sees comedy play a prominent part over the festival, which runs from Friday 9th to Sunday 18th July.
Martin said, “I’m looking forward to good culture and a good laugh on our 10th birthday. This is a party the people of Frome will enjoy as much as the many thousands who visit from far and wide.”
Television comedian Paul Merton makes his fourth festival appearance, and has agreed to put on two nights at the Memorial Theatre. There are still tickets available, though they are selling fast.”
Reginald D. Hunter opens the birthday celebrations at the Cheese & Grain with his wry, American take on UK culture.
Jo Caulfield, star of Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, brings her hilarious ‘Won’t Shut Up!’ tour to town.

190 events

Beat poet John Hegley joins forces with Frome-based charity Educating Kenyan Orphans to share his unique world view.
Hot from a landmark gig at the Houses of Parliament, Jewish stand-up Ivor Dembina offers his fresh and funny perspective on the Middle East.
Besides comedy, Frome Festival has much more up its sleeve, with more than 190 events over ten days.
Bath Philharmonia’s Jason Thornton delivers another peerless classical bill that includes Chopin recitals to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth, played by this year’s festival artist in residence, pianist Marina Nadiradze. Jason Thornton conducts Bath Philharmonia in Aaron Copland’s Appa-lachian Spring, complete with authentic bluegrass from Nashville’s Harpeth Rising, who also play their own solo gig during the festival.
After Shakespeare, Charles Dickens contributed more words to the English dictionary than any other author. His great-great- grandson, Gerald Dickens, fills his famous relation’s shoes at Frome’s Wesley Methodist Church.
Words@FromeFestival invites Bristol-based experimental psychologist Bruce Hood, author of ‘Supersense: Why We Believe The Unbelieveable’, to explain why humans are hard-wired for religion.
As ever, the festival rewards its loyal music fans, with gigs from Celtic hip priest Seth Lakeman, world fusion band Baka Beyond, blues legend Joe Brown and Rolling Stones kinsman, Chris Jagger. Frome’s rich musical depth also steps into the limelight, with Praying For Rain, John Law, The Operation and Pink Champagne on the festival bill.
The Griffin Inn and Olive Tree pubs host a week of free gigs with DJ Madapple, Julian Dawson, Poppy Pitt, Leonardo’s Bicycle, Alex Taylor and the Boot Hill All Stars among the confirmed acts. Back Before Breakfast and Redback headline the live stage at the relaunched Frome Festival Feast in its new home on the banks of the River Frome.


Perennial favourites Hidden Gardens, Open Studios, Frome Green Fair, Art Car Boot Fair and the Festival Fashion Show provide august continuity. Elsewhere, look out for art exhibitions, walks, workshops and the many other curiosities that make Frome Festival an enduring success.
Full details of this year’s festival will be updated here online and at myspace. For the latest ticket news, follow the festival on twitter.
Pictured: Paul Merton with a copy of the festival programme. Photo by www.

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