‘Sub Rooms’ is the short name for the Subscription Rooms, an important cultural centre in the city of Stroud, England. This building has a great historic value as it has been home to numerous cultural events throughout the town’s history.

Beyond simple exhibitions or performances, this is the place where the intellectuals used to get together and where political meetings took place. The election of parliamentary members is only one example of the many uses this building’s had.

Protecting a legacy

This is why the Sub Rooms have become an icon not only of the town but also the region. Undoubtedly, they represent the community to its highest standards: art, intelligence, and progress. Having said this, it’s not strange that the local community is striving to keep the nature of the sub rooms intact, especially after the Council announced its listing on the market.

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending and, after months of negotiations, the Sub Rooms were transferred again to the state. In other words, the building now belongs to the Town Council and the administration and staff are under the Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust.

Beyond concerts: from meetings to exhibitions

Many towns have a local theatre or concert hall; however, the Subscription Rooms are more than this. They hold a variety of events like:

  • Art festivals
  • Food festivals
  • Parties
  • Concerts
  • Pantomime
  • Poetry
  • Exhibitions
  • Comedy
  • Classes
  • Workshops
  • Theatre
  • Films


The younger generations also enjoy the Sub Rooms, getting together for parties. One example of this is the Halloween party to be held in October, this year. There will be live music with the Haggis Horns, a band that has been leading the punk scene in the UK since the release of their album “Keb Darge Presents the New Mastersounds”.

Haggis Horns have played with internationally renowned artists like Duran, Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse, Jamiroquai, Adele, and Lou Donaldson.

The party will also have Andy Edwards as a special guest. This DJ has been on stage since 1975 and will play amazing tunes including jazz, funk, and classic and northern soul.


Music has a special place in the Sub Rooms. Although there are many events, some of them are a combination of different styles and music is always present. After the pandemics, live music returned to the sub rooms in October 2021, and here is the director Hugh Phillimore talking about the reopening.

In 2022 there is exciting news as well. In July, for example, the Stroud community will be able to enjoy a performance by the Spooky Men’s Chorale. This is an a cappella voice ensemble founded in 2001 by Stephen Taberner. Since then, they have been entertaining their audience with beautiful ballads, covers, and original songs.

But this cultural centre is not only for local talents but also for internationally renowned bands. In August, the Sub Rooms will host the Black Uhuru with King Solomon Band. These are the best-selling reggae artists after Bob Marley. Moreover, they have celebrated many important achievements like being the first reggae band to win a Grammy. All in all, the Ambassadors of Reggae have a place in the Sub Rooms too.

Finally, in September, the rooms will have a more local approach with The Bootleg Beatles. Given the fact that the Beatles actually performed in the Sub Rooms, the show will have a special meaning. The Bootleg Beatles are one of the best Beatle bands, reviving an iconic decade and paying tribute to one of the most influential music groups of all time.


In 2022 the Sub Rooms will have a variety of theatre offers, starting with the “Forbidden nights”. This show combines music and choreography in the most enticing way, spreading sensuality and innovation. Formed by male acrobats, aerial artists and vocalists, the cast will not cease to surprise you.

Towards 2023 and already in the winter season, the rooms will present a classic: Cinderella. From the same team that produced Beauty and the Beast last season, this time the people of Stroud will enjoy a new classic. This musical is a great opportunity for the family to enjoy together. It also reflects the spirit of the Sub Rooms showing high-quality performances for all audiences.

Food and drink festivals

This summer, the Stroud community can enjoy two food&drinks events: the Paella Nights and the Stroud Beer Festival. While the Paella Nights are a recurring event every Tuesday, the Beer Festival is on only for one weekend. In any case, both are great occasions to enjoy exquisite Spanish dishes, local beer, appetizers, and live music.

Classes and workshops

From the 8th of June to the 20th of July, the improvisation course by Rebecca MacMillan will be resumed. This course requires no previous experience and is focused on improving one’s improvisation skills. Through games like Whose Line is it Anyway and other comedy games, attendees can enhance their performance skills, gain confidence, unleash their creativity and, most importantly, have fun.

In line with this course, the Sub Rooms will present another one during the autumn-winter season featuring stand-up comedy. The workshop will be led by Chris Head, a reputable comedy director, and it welcomes everyone, no matter their experience in the field. After 8 weeks, attendees will be able to put into practice everything they’ve learned on a stand-up show as a workshop closure.

The Sub Rooms are still alive and running

Despite all the challenges, the Subscription Rooms are still running. When the Council announced that they could no longer afford the administration of the cultural centre, Stroud’s community fought for it to remain as a public building.

Luckily, this initiative has prevailed, and this historical building keeps entertaining people of all ages. It seems that the Sub Rooms are still a source of inspiration for the new generations.

By Sarah