Birmingham nightclub Rainbow Venues responds after having licence revoked

Birmingham City Council said they were left with no alternative after a student died following an event held at the venue back in October

The Birmingham superclub Rainbow Venues has responded after having its licence revoked by the local council following a second drug-related death in two years.

Michael Trueman, a 19-year-old student, died on October 30 after taking MDMA the night before at a Halloween event held at the club. The tragedy followed another drug-related death in December 2015, when 18-year-old Dylan Booth died after taking drugs at a Rainbow Venues event.

Birmingham City Council’s licensing sub committee took the decision to revoke Rainbow Venues’ licence yesterday (November 28), saying that it was left with no alternative following the death of Trueman.

West Midlands police spokesperson Abdul Rohomon said that the 11-venue superclub, located in the Digbeth area close to the city centre, is the only licenced venue in the city to have suffered drug-related deaths.

“We have no option but to call for Rainbow’s licence to be revoked,” Rohomon said. “This is the second drug-related death at the venue in two years and we have evidence that a 15-year-old boy has been admitted to the venue.

“There are around 3,000 licenced premises in Birmingham and this is the only venue which has suffered drug-related deaths,” he added. “The most stringent measures are in place, yet drugs are still being consumed inside the venue.”

Matthew Phipps, a lawyer representing The Rainbow Venues, denied the claim that a 15-year-old had secured entry to the venue, and added that despite “stringent measures” such as sniffer dogs, CCTV and random searches, “some customers do use the most extreme measures to smuggle drugs, including putting pills in car keys and also intimate places in their body.

“We simply can’t guarantee that no drugs will ever get through.”

The Rainbow Venues have this afternoon (November 29) issued a statement in response to the action taken by the council, calling the decision “wrong” – see it in full below.

The Rainbow Venues have 21 days to appeal the decision, an option that the venue say they will take up.