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Issue 298 – Acts confirmed for 10th anniversary festival

Frome Festival 2010 struggled to keep a straight face as it 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.

Creative director Martin Dimery 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.”
Paul Merton makes his fourth festival appearance, with two nights at the Memorial. 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. 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 which 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 Appalachian 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.
Copies of the festival brochure hit the streets early May and the festival box office opens on Sunday 9th May. The festival invites anyone who wants it to last another ten years to sign up as a Friend of Frome Festival. It costs £15 a year. Contact the festival office on 01373 453889 for a form.
Full details of this year’s festival will be updated online at and For the latest ticket news, follow the festival on Twitter at

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