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Issue 328 – Cheese and Grain hailed at London music ‘Oscars’

FROME’S Cheese and Grain received recognition from top industry professionals when it was represented at the prestigious national Music Week Awards, the Oscars for those who work behind the scenes in the profession.

The popular Frome venue was honoured to receive a nomination in the ‘Live Music Venue’ category of the competition, alongside huge venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
When the nomination was received, the Cheese and Grain staff thought that nobody would be able to witness the venue’s achievement at the glittering ceremony due to the high cost of attending. However, the trustees of the Cheese and Grain dipped into their own pockets to fund the sending of Martin Dimery, programme and marketing manager, who represented Frome.
Martin attended the extravagant ceremony at London’s prestigious Roundhouse venue on Tuesday 25th May, where representatives from the UK’s leading recording companies, music venues, studios and broadcasters, gathered to honour the music industry’s great successes of the past 12 months.
He described the event as, “a fabulous experience to see the Cheese and Grain’s logo and footage presented on the big screens in this huge arena as the nominations were announced.”
The Frome community venue was short-listed alongside four of the best known concert halls in the country, including the massive LG Arena in Birmingham, the O2 Academy in Leeds, and the Royal Albert Hall.
Martin said, “To be in competition with such major city venues was a huge honour in itself.” The winner of the ‘Live Music Venue’ category was revealed as the Concorde 2 in Brighton.
Martin explained, “I wasn’t disappointed to be a runner-up with so many thousands of music venues around the country who didn’t make the shortlist. I was very pleased to see another independent company pick up the prize rather than one of the corporately owned nominees.”
Martin Dimery’s only disappointment was that his colleagues at the Cheese and Grain couldn’t share this special occasion with him. He said, “Like so many of these major dinner events, all guests have to pay for their own seat at the table.
“The Cheese and Grain is a charity and does not have a budget for corporate hospitality. Even though about 70% of our income is self generated, we couldn’t justify spending it on our own entertainment, especially in these hard pressed times.
“I thought we’d have to give the ceremony a miss, but the trustees were wonderful and had a ‘whip round’ from their own pockets to help me raise the cost of a seat at the table, accommodation and travel, after my colleagues generously decided that I should represent them. Looking on at how some of the bigger companies in the music industry, even those not nominated for an award, lavished hospitality on their staff, made me very proud of how much we have achieved at the Cheese and Grain with little resources. I don’t think any of the other nominees filter the profits they make from promoting music to support community activities in their venues.”
Coming in a year when the Cheese and Grain was the subject of a take over bid by the previous Frome Town Council, the Music Week accolade “could not have come at a better time” according to Martin Dimery.
Martin added, “We see it as ringing endorsement of what we have tried to achieve in sometimes difficult circumstances over the years. There are so many people who have put their faith in the Cheese and Grain, especially in the last year. I hope they will share with us this moment of triumph, and continue to help us develop the hall in the future.”
The hall’s patron Emily Eavis, of the Glastonbury Festival, which was also nominated for ‘Festival of the Year’ sent her personal congratulations to the Cheese and Grain describing the accolade as “fantastic.”

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