The vibes are high on Nelson Street these days. There is something in the air this month that will bring a whole lotta love to the street, drawing the culturally curious and open-hearted from all over town and even beyond the five valleys.
The Donnelly Sisters, Kirsty and Katy, have made a sparkling splash with their curated art parties in the last 18 months and are devoted advocates of local artists. Last summer their ‘Lust’ exhibition at The Pink Cabbage coincided with the launch of The Diner and saw revellers flitting back and forth, sampling the tantalising delights of both venues and creating a buzzy street party atmosphere.
Inspired by the good vibes of the first event, the sisters decided to go a step further and get the whole street officially involved, curating a full weekend event to celebrate the vibrant community of independent businesses that make up Nelson Street. One Love Nelson Street takes place on the first weekend of June and will offer a cornucopia of love-themed delights while raising funds for The Door charity, who provide vital support for young people in Stroud.
“We feel passionately about independent businesses in Stroud and know how hard everyone works so we wanted to join forces and all support each other to make the weekend a success for everyone” says Kirsty, “We hope that everyone will be feeling the love – whether they buy a romantic novel from Ruth or get love ink’ed at Q’s tattoos.”
Lust 2 will take place once again at The Pink Cabbage, celebrating the work of Stroud artists including Alex Merry, Lorraine Robbins, James Green, Soozy Roberts, Abigail Fallis, Marcus Walters, Tamzin Malleson-Mason and many more.
The sisters have also secured pieces from The Connor Brothers (big love for the sibling teams!) whose work has been sold at Christies and Bonhams and showcased from London to Los Angeles, as well as from Sara Pope who recently became the first female artist in more than 70 years to have a piece accepted into the Vatican collection. The exhibition will be open from 6pm Friday and Saturday for all to enjoy.
Cirencester duo Bethany Irving and Jamie Blackburn will perform at The Pink Cabbage on Friday evening and DJ Neil Wilson will be cranking up the vibes from 9pm. On Saturday evening Sarah Phaedre Watson will take to the decks and get the Stroud glitterati wiggling. Cocktails will be flowing and costumes will be fabulous. Entry will be £3 on the door.
The Marshall Rooms continue the live music love-in on Friday night from 8-11pm, with ethereal indie rock artist Bryde. Saturday sees the venue open early for luscious daytime vibes on the terrace, a lovely social drinks party and further good times still TBA.
The Diner will be showing their love for Nelson Street with a celebration of all things Prince. Glam Slam Lovesexy will see the venue all dressed up in paisley and hearts, with a menu of Prince inspired ice cream sundaes, cocktails and hard shakes such as Raspberry Beret Slushes and Under the Cherry Moon sundaes – all with plenty of cream of course! You can sing along to “Sign of the Times” Prince karaoke and there will be a prize for the best “U Got The Look” prince look-alike.
Thirsting for something hoppier? The Golden Fleece will kickstart summer with their first annual beer festival, showcasing modern and traditional cask ales from across the country, summer seasonal specials from regional brewers, as well as tropically hopped IPAs for craft ale afficionados. They will be celebrating love from 12pm on Saturday with live bands and a pizza pop-up from master baker Dominic of Salt Bakehouse. There’s even a whole extra day of love when we need it most, with an all day barbecue to accompany Sunday beer samplings.
At Qs Tattoos you can literally wear your heart on your sleeve. They will be offering exclusive love-themed tattoo flash starting at £30 each and will be open all day Friday and Saturday for walk-ins. Attendees of the Lust exhibition will also be entitled to 20% off any tattoo over £50 for the two weeks after the exhibition
Ruth and Ron at R&R Books, stalwarts of the Nelson Street retail scene, are delighted to see the friendly community opening its arms to draw more visitors up beyond the High Street. Their eclectic book selection has something for absolutely everyone to enjoy so why not enjoy a browse and savour your purchase over a fresh brewed coffee at Black Books Cafe. The cafe will be open til 8pm on Friday and will be offering 2 for 1 hot drinks from 6pm with specially baked love-themed sweet treats on the side.
Elvers Studio moved into their shop on Nelson Street in April of last year. The father and daughter duo are keen to celebrate Nelson Street and let people know there is plenty going on beyond the end of the high street! They will be opening their doors and their hearts to all comers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so pay them a visit for a beautiful piece of artwork or jewellery as a token of your love for the Stroud independent arts scene. The Yoga Space will also be keeping their doors open to embrace the good people of Stroud until 8pm on Friday and Saturday, so you can give your body some love and attend to your heart chakra.
All this – and more surprises in store – awaits you on Nelson Street from 1st to 3rd June. Keep watch on social media for further announcements – or take a stroll up the street and see for yourself!