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Festival sales hit early record

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Ticket sales for this year’s Frome Festival are promising another bumper year, with nearly 3,000 tickets already sold after the first full week.

The central box office at the Cheese and Grain reported close on 2,400 ticket sales to add to the tickets already purchased at hosting venues like Cooper Hall and the Memorial and Merlin Theatres.

Hot tickets include the broadcaster and historian Michael Wood whose Trojan Wars talk is certain to sell out at Rook Lane Arts. Another popular act to appear at Rook Lane is the Busquitos, a hugely entertaining jazz band from Holland. With the legendary saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis now confirmed as a guest artist, this show is also set to reach capacity.

At the Cheese and Grain, Badly Drawn Boy, punk poet Dr. John Cooper Clarke, Blazin’ Fiddles, Aston Merrygold and Leo Sayer are selling fast, as is Clare Hammond the pianist, at Cooper Hall. Illyria Theatre’s “The Merchant of Venice” and comedians George Egg and Viv Groskop are each selling well at the Merlin. Tom Allen at the Memorial Theatre is already the top comedy attraction this year.

“What’s really encouraging” said Festival director Martin Dimery, “is the interest in some of the workshops and talks which are going fast. The ukulele workshop has sold out, as has “In the Footsteps of Siegfried Sassoon” a walk and recital in Mells. Inevitably the Frome Tunnels walks were sold out in the first three days. We could easily sell them all to Festival Friends, who subscribe annually, but we hold back as a many as we can for public sale. We have three Tunnel Walks on this year, and it’s difficult for the volunteer organisers to do more.”

Classical music is well represented in the Frome Festival. The South West Festival Chorus who were a highlight last year with the Mozart Requiem will be presenting Brahm’s German Requiem at the wonderfully restored Trinity Church on Sunday 8th July. Trinity also hosts the London Gala Orchestra on Saturday 14th July in a comic-opera double bill of Bach and Mozart.

Christ Church also presents a wonderfully eclectic mix of events throughout the Festival including a lunchtime Bach organ recital by the nationally recognised David Turner.

In all, the Frome Festival is hosting 126 ticketed events and – with free shows and exhibitions – over 200 entries are in this year’s brochure. 22,000 brochures are available from various outlets all over the West. The Festival website also gives a direct link to the box office for on-line sales: www.fromefestival.co.uk

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