Frome Festival

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Frome Festival
Frome festival 2005.jpg
Frome Festival Opening Procession 2005
Genre Music festival
Location(s) Frome, Somerset, England
Years active annual
Founded 2000
Founder Martin Bax

The Frome Festival is festival of music and culture held annually in Frome, Somerset, England since 2000.

Martin Bax, a former mayor of the town,[1] conceived the Frome Festival and ran it from its inaugural occurrence in 2000 until 2007,[2] for which he received the MBE.[3] In 2008 Martin Dimery, was appointed as his successor.[4]

The festival programme offers classical music, jazz, folk to indie, literature and drama, film, dance, workshops and free events.


More than 160 events are held at various venues in and around the town.[5] These include the two theatres in Frome: The Memorial Theatre which was built in 1924 in memory of the fallen of the First World War,[6] whilst the 240-seat Merlin Theatre is part of the Frome Community College campus.[7]

The Cheese and Grain, a former farm produce warehouse which was converted into a market and concert hall in 1997, has a capacity of up to 800 and hosts regular pop concerts.[8] Frome's only cinema, the Westway, is in Cork Street in the town centre.[9] There is also an arts centre, The Black Swan,[10]

Festival events[edit]

In 2005, Van Morrison played to three thousand in the grounds of Marston House a nearby stately home.[11] Steeleye Span appeared and more than two hundred players and singers performed Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, at the festival’s annual Summer School.[12]

2006 welcomed Paul Merton, and also included Tony Benn, Roy Bailey, The Troggs, Barry Cryer, Miles Kington, Peter Donohoe, The Mangledwurzels, Rory McLeod and John Tams.[13]

In 2009, 187 events took place over the ten days, including The Levellers, The Imagined Village, Imelda May, Adrian Edmondson’s band The Bad Shepherds, and Still Black Still Proud, starring Pee Wee Ellis, South Africa’s The Mahotella Queens, and London-based Ghanaian rapper Ty.

The ninth Frome Festival paid special tribute to Benjamin Baker, the Frome engineer who designed the Forth Railway Bridge, with a series of talks and exhibitions.


  1. ^ Dimery, Martin. "Frome Festival gears up for its eighth year". BBC Somerset. BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Paul Merton makes return festival visit". Mid Somerset Guardian. This is Somerset. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Birthday honours: list in full". The Independent. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Dimery, Martin (2008-07-03). "Frome Festival gears up for its eighth year". BBC. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Frome Festival". Frome Festival. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  6. ^ "Frome Memorial Theatre". Frome Memorial Theatre. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  7. ^ "Merlin Theatre". Merlin Theatre. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  8. ^ "The Cheese and Grain". The Cheese and Grain. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  9. ^ "Westway Cinema". Westway Cinema. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  10. ^ "The Black Swan". Black Swan Arts. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  11. ^ "Reviews". Frome Festival. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Frome Festival - 1st to 10th July". Mendip District Council. 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Frome Festival 2006". Frome Festival. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 

External links[edit]