Ma­jor pop acts head to re­vamped con­cert venue

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A MA­JOR Birm­ing­ham con­cert venue to be given a new lease of life with a new name and ma­jor acts head­ing in.

The Rain­bow Arena in Lower Trin­ity Street is to be re­branded The Dig­beth Arena, run by Bris­tol live events com­pany The MJR Group.

James Arthur, Texas, Imelda May and Garbage are the first acts to sign up to ap­pear at the site.

The news comes as Wolver­hamp­ton Civic Hall, which might have at­tracted such tours, is closed for a year for ren­o­va­tion.

Founded in 2012, The MJR Group de­scribes it­self as a ‘live events com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in con­cert pro­mo­tion and venue devel­op­ment’.

It reg­u­larly hosts gigs at Mid­land venues in­clud­ing the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath and The Ze­phyr Lounge in Leam­ing­ton Spa.

The Rain­bow Events (for­merly The Rain­bow Venues) recently sig­nalled its in­tent to move away from venue op­er­a­tions and back to­wards live event pro­mo­tion.

Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil re­voked the club’s li­cence in Novem­ber af­ter a drug-re­lated death at Rain­bow Ware­house in Lower Trin­ity Street.

The venue was or­dered to shut down af­ter stu­dent Michael True­man, 19, was un­der­stood to have taken MDMA at a Hal­loween event.

He died in hos­pi­tal the next day. The tragedy was the sec­ond dru­gre­lated death in two years at the nightspot.

Rain­bow Venues handed over its li­cence of Spot­light, Mama Roux and Cafe Col­lette to Dig­beth Din­ing Club, which has an­nounced it is ex­pand­ing to three days a week.

But Crane, Rain­bow Arena, The Car Park, Ware­house, Roof Gar­den and Black­box have all closed.

In a Face­book post from The Rain­bow Events, Lee McDonald said: “Our busi­ness will re­turn full cir­cle to the po­si­tion from where we orig­i­nally started. 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 MJR and could not be hap­pier that they are the com­pany tak­ing the Arena for­ward into the fu­ture.”

Ben­jamin Newby at The MJR Group said: “We are hon­oured and hum­bled to be­come part of the in­no­va­tive and artis­tic hub that is Dig­beth. 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 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 Arena is to be re­branded The Dig­beth Arena

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