fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Rainbow Venues drops appeal against licence revocation

The Rainbow Events, formerly operator of the shuttered Rainbow complex in Birmingham, has dropped its appeal against the revocation of its operating licence, saying it has taken the decision to focus on event promotion “until major concerns around current regional licensing processes are addressed”.

The company, formerly known as the Rainbow Venues, lost its licence following the drugs-related death of a 19-year-old last October. The Rainbow Venues complex has since been taken over by MJR Group, which is to rebrand the 12,000sqft outdoor site as Digbeth Arena.

In January it launched a campaign to raise funds for its legal battle with Birmingham city council and West Midlands police. The £24,076 raised by the Educate Not Revocate campaign will be refunded to donors within 30 days of today (21 March).

“We will no longer invest in the city we have previously called home”

“We are resolute in our commitment to calling for a more progressive approach to licensing through the Educate Not Revocate campaign, as announced in January 2018, and extend a huge thank you to the fans, artists and industry professionals who have pledged their support to our cause so far,” the Rainbow Events founder Lee McDonald says. “[But] until the difficult and intimidating climate of licensing in Birmingham and across the UK changes, and the financial and emotional impact that it directly causes on venue owners and licensees is alleviated, we will no longer invest in the city we have previously called home.

“We look forward to taking time out to re-energise, and continue discussions with global brands and potential major partners, before unveiling further plans for the future.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Rainbow becomes Digbeth Arena under new operator MJR

The Rainbow Arena in Digbeth, Birmingham – a 12,000sqft outdoor venue formerly part of the Rainbow Venues – has been taken over by MJR Group, which is to rebrand the site Digbeth Arena.

The Rainbow Venues lost its licence last November following the drug-related death of a 19-year-old student. MJR – a fast-growing promoter/venue operator which recently welcomed several new recruits from CAA, DHP Family and VMS Live – has announced a series of shows for the rechristened venue, which originally opened in 2012 on the site of a former scaffold yard and has since hosted several major inner-city festivals, including Annie Mac Presents (2013), Made Festival (2014–2017) and Chapter Festival (2014–2017).

Under the Skyline Series banner, upcoming Digbeth Arena shows include James Arthur on 25 August; Texas and Imelda May on 1 September; The The on 7 September; and Garbage on 8 September, with more announcements expected soon.

Benjamin Newby of the MJR Group says: “We are honoured and humbled to become part of the innovative and artistic hub that is Digbeth, Birmingham. We have already started developing great relationships with the business and creative community and look forward to what the future will bring. We recognise the dedicated and inspirational work Rainbow Venues have put into their venues and Digbeth as a whole.

“We are honoured and humbled to become part of the innovative and artistic hub that is Digbeth”

“We will work hard to continue their passion while adding our own vision and operational standards to the arena.

“As a resident of Birmingham, I personally could not be happier or excited that MJR are involved in this project that joins our group of venues across the country, and become part of this exuberant city.”

The Rainbow Events – which as the Rainbow Venues formerly managed the site – meanwhile, is moving away from venue operation and towards concert promotion. “Our business will return full circle to the position from where we originally started,” comments Rainbow Venues founder Lee McDonald. “Working with emerging and established artists, bands and labels to produce extraordinary and memorable experiences for music fans and clubbers across the country under The Rainbow Events.

“We have a strong relationship with The MJR Group and could not be happier that they are the company taking the arena forward into the future.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Rainbow club closes after drug deaths

Owners of Birmingham’s Rainbow Club complex say they will appeal after being stripped of their licence “to protect public safety”, following the recent drugs-related death of a 19-year-old.

Student Michael Trueman died after a Halloween event at the venue. He is believed to have taken MDMA. In 2015 Dylan Booth died after taking ecstasy at a New Year Eve event.

At a hearing of the city council’s licensing committee, West Midlands Police spokesperson Abdul Rohomon told the city council: “There are around 3,000 licensed premises in Birmingham and this is the only venue which has suffered drug-related deaths. The most stringent measures are in place, yet drugs are still being consumed inside the venue.”

There is a global society issue, this won’t be the last drug-related death on licensed premises

Revoking the licence, Cllr Alex Buchanan, chairman of the city’s licensing committee, said: “We have a duty to protect public safety. There has been two deaths in less than two years. The most stringent measures in the city have been introduced at the club but only last month there was another death through drugs. The committee has no option but to revoke Rainbow club’s license.”

In a statement issued after the shutdown was rubber-stamped, The Rainbow Venues said: “We firmly believe our team took great care, time and passion to create a safe environment for people to enjoy our events.

“We had very robust policies that West Midlands Police have accepted are more stringent than any other licensed premises in the country.

“As operators, we can’t be false. The decision is wrong.

“We can’t pretend we agree, we can’t promise that drugs will not enter licensed premises; people go to extreme lengths to get drugs into venues, if they succeed over the border, prisons and even parliament, then they will find a way into a club.

“They are breaking the law. Are we?

“There is a global society issue, this won’t be the last drug-related death on licensed premises. We can’t lie. We didn’t lie. This will happen again and again.”

Forthcoming shows at the Rainbow include Bicep and Applebum. There’s been no news on what will happen to these dates.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.