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Frome Festival box office records huge sales

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More than 2,200 tickets were sold following the official box office opening for the Frome Festival from Friday 17th May, the highest number for many years.

Creative director Martin Dimery said he was “delighted” with the sales. He said, “We used to have very long queues for our box office opening day but we found most of the most enthusiastic were amongst the Frome Festival Friends subscribers, so in recent years, we’ve given the first two days of sales to Festival Friends, whilst always saving tickets back for the general public opening. It is now a far more efficient and effective system. 

“We’re always busy with tickets for the Frome Tunnels walks because there are limited opportunities to explore the “underworld” of Frome, so we have to limit each buyer to two tickets each. I’m glad to say we’d saved just enough back to satisfy general public applicants who queued early on Sunday 19th May and arrived in time for the box office opening at 9pm. Some had been there since 7am.”

Many of the bigger shows have been up for sale for several months, but stocks held back for the official opening. “For contractual reasons, major promotions are usually required to go up for sale before the brochure is published in May,” explained Martin.

The biggest selling act this year so far is the band Scouting for Girls who have already notched up over 700 tickets in the Cheese and Grain on Friday 12th July. A further 400 or more are expected to see The Coral on Monday 8th July. “We held back on announcing DJ Judge Jules with a live band for our opening night on Friday 5th, until the official box office opening, but sold nearly 200 within a few days of the announcement,” Martin continued. “But it’s not all about big shows. The Festival is a showcase for all types of art and entertainment and selling out a workshop or walk to 10 or 15 people can be equally satisfying.

Classical music, literature and drama feature more than ever in this year’s programme amongst 110 ticketed events, running from the 5th to the 14th July. Including free events, pub gigs and exhibitions, the programme contains over 200 entries in all, many presented by local artists and performers. The Open Studios Art Trail and Hidden Gardens will also bring thousands of visitors into areas of the town often unseen by tourists.

“Box office sales alone don’t tell the entire story,” explained the festival’s creative director. “For many people, the Festival is about participation in arts and crafts, whether singing in a choir or learning to make jewellery. It also brings a tourist boost to the town in the summer and helps sustain some of our marvellous venues. If we add in these venue’s independent ticket sales for performances like Jethro at the Memorial Theatre, and Miracle Theatre Company at the Merlin, our current tally would be close to 3,000 sales.”

The Frome Festival central box office is at the Cheese and Grain fromefestival.co.uk/cheeseandgrain.com / tel: 01373 455420.

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