Long-time stalwart of the live music scene in Shropshire and beyond, accomplished singer-songwriter and host of Albert’s very own Songwriters Showcase, right here in the Shed, Nikki Rous represents everything Albert’s Shed stands for, most definitely a musician’s musician and somebody who has given so much to the local scene and many artists within it.
Nikki was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which came as some relief after many years of misdiagnoses, chronic pain and health complications. However, any positivity brought about from finally being correctly diagnosed was short lived as Nikki suffered several ruptured discs, one of which caused severe nerve compression and nerve damage, rendering her practically immobile and necessitating an urgent spinal operation on her back.
Why we’re doing this
Nikki has had the operation and is currently recuperating at home and Albert has fingers and toes crossed that she makes a good recovery. Nikki is a full-time musician and one of the hardest working artists around, regularly playing many gigs per week and managing to earn a living purely by playing music, which Albert knows is no mean feat.
So on Sunday 31st March 2019, musicians are coming together to show their support by performing at a free festival ‘RouStock’ to be held at Albert’s Shed, Shrewsbury from midday to midnight. It will be a day of live music for the whole family with some of the areas most well-known artists such as Jonny Keeley, Michaela Wylde and Effervescent.
Now here lies the problem
Full-time musicians still have to pay their taxes and NI contributions, and cover any sickness or holiday time, just like any other self-employed person knows! Whilst she has been unable to gig, Nikki has had to give away all her pre-booked gigs to many other local artists and has effectively lost her entire income. Albert spoke to the huge amount of local musicians who have benefitted from knowing Nikki Rous, either most recently as a result of picking up extra gigs, or at other times over the years, whether through her excellent advice, her recommendations of artists to venues, or simply by being a great friend, and it soon became clear that it wasn’t only Albert who was keen to do something to help Nikki out.
So the idea for ‘Roustock’ was born. Sunday 31st March from midday until midnight, twelve hours of quality local artists all playing for free with two aims: to raise much-needed funds to help Nikki survive as a self-employed musician; and to raise awareness of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Now here’s the amazing news.
All of the artists will be performing for free!
There is no admission charge to this event, but all visitors are encouraged to dig deep and help fill the buckets which will be going around during the event.