News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Frome Festival is gearing up for its biggest ever programme with 250 events taking place over 10 days. Running from 5-14 July, this year’s theme celebrates 60 years of Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, featuring artwork by celebrated illustrator Sholto Walker depicting Willy Wonka striding down the streets of Frome.

To celebrate this theme, five Golden Tickets will be hidden at various festival events, with winners receiving a scrumdiddlyumptious spending spree at Frome’s local chocolatier and café, Choc et al.

The community arts festival has been a popular fixture in the town since 2001 and aims to offer something for everyone, young and old, including different types of music, theatre, comedy, spoken word, art, dance, film, workshops, children’s events, and food or drink experiences. Expect a dash of Frome’s signature quirkiness!

Children can enjoy bouldering workshops, comic art masterclasses, science exploration of pondlife, theatre productions, a Willy Wonka Rave, outdoor shows and so much more. And Frome Festival is teaming up with the popular Frome Independent Market on Sunday 7th July, taking over their entertainment stages with music, street theatre, and dance. 

Festival Highlights

  • Internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Sir Willard White will travel from Schubert to spirituals, musicals to traditional songs, accompanied by Eugene Asti on piano. Friday 5th July / 6pm / Cooper Hall.
  • Alberta Cross plays anthemic Americana-tinged songs and have toured with Johnny Marr, Oasis, Neil Young and many others. Frontman Petter Ericson Stakee now calls Frome home.Friday 5th July / 7.30pm / The Tree House.
  • One of Frome’s favourite free events, the Festival Food Feast returns for a celebration of amazing international street food, live music and entertainment. Sponsored by local Frome company Lilley’s Cider.Saturday 6th July / 5pm / Cattle Market Car Park.
  • The hilarious stand-up comic Jenny Eclair was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award at Edinburgh Festival in 1995 and hasn’t stopped banging on about it since.Sunday 7th July / 7.30pm / Merlin Theatre.
  • Raghu Dixit returns to the Frome Festival after his triumphant debut last year. Often hailed as India’s biggest cultural & musical export, their unique brand of infectious, happy music transcends age, genre, and even language.Sunday 7th July / 7.30pm / Cheese & Grain.
  • The spectacular Swinging at the Cotton Club is a visual and musical feast paying homage to legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie with breathtaking dance routines. Monday 8th July / 7pm / Cheese & Grain
  • In the atmospheric setting of Holy Trinity Church, renowned organ virtuoso David Bednall will provide an improvised soundtrack to the classic 1922 horror movie, Nosferatu. Monday 8th July / 9pm / Holy Trinity Church
  • The raucous Old Time Sailors will take you back in time with an immersive experience of traditional seafaring music. Fancy dress encouraged! Tuesday 9th July / 7.30pm / Cheese & Grain
  • Former economics editor of Newsnight and Channel 4 and a regular Guardian contributor, Paul Mason presents this year’s Bob Morris Lecture, a keynote speech that is an annual highlight of the Festival programme. Wednesday 10th July / 7pm / Cheese & Grain
  • In his much-anticipated return to stand-up, legendary comic Richard Herring presents his brand-new tour show where he talks bollocks about his recent experience with testicular cancer. Thursday 11th July / 7.30pm / Cheese & Grain
  • Scottish trailblazers Peatbog Faeries have created a glorious mixture of traditional sounds and dance-floor grooves creating a hypnotic sound that no-one can resist dancing to. Friday 12th July / 7.30pm / Cheese & Grain

Brochures detailing all events are available to pick up from the Cheese & Grain, local libraries, information points and many other locations across Frome and the surrounding area. An online version of the brochure is available here.