The end of the Rainbow?

A matter of hours after blogging about the Live Music bill being proposed by a Lib Dem Lord, news reaches me that The Rainbow in Digbeth has been given a noise abatement order by Birmingham City Council.

This is a real blow to what is a real hotbed of cultural activity - the Rainbow is far more than just a pub. The events are known nationally and the place attracts an incredible mix of international artists and local unknowns.

If this really is off the back of one complaint from a resident of Abacus (which by the way is a fair distance from the Rainbow and the other side of a dual carriageway!) then someone at the Council is making an enormous mistake.

As I write this, the Facebook group set up to support the venue stands a shade short of 19,000 members.

As I wrote yesterday, the issue of city centre residential developments and bars/music venues isn't going to go away, but we have to be sensible about this. The recent closure of TRMNL in the Jewellery Quarter was unfortunate as I felt from a cultural viewpoint the venue was doing great things - but the building was unsuitable, they did not have the correct planning permission and there was a genuine disturbance caused to large numbers of residents. The Council has to take a learning point there from granting a license for unsuitable premises.

There's also a learning point here. In the case of TRMNL there was a groundswell of opposition. In the case of Rainbow, you will struggle to find a single person who thinks closing the venue is the right thing to do.

There is a gathering at the Rainbow at 6.30pm this Friday where the venue will be announcing their next steps.

This morning I will be writing to all the Liberal Democrat councillors I know well to see what can be done to reverse this ludicrous situation.

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  1. The council didn’t give TRMNL a licence, that was the point. The Rainbow is a different matter though, they’ve cooperated right up until the end. Yet another example of Birmingham councilors being ridiculously out of touch with the majority. Long live the Rainbow – I hope there will be an appeal.

  2. Thanks for your comments C. I don’t want to dwell on TRMNL here but the Council did grant a license. After several months they were then served with a injunction to prevent opening after 11.30pm.

    You’re right about the Rainbow situation being different, it’s ludicrous and I really hope the Council applies some common sense to this.

  3. Hi i have similar problems with a licensed premises opposite my home. we are constantly being disturbed by people leaving all hours of the morning, loud music and constant fighting (this now seems to be a regular occurance on weekday nights – not good when you have to be up early for work!) i did try yesterday to have a word with the manager and received a torrent of abuse (this was in front of my son who i had just picked up from school!)
    i am now busy preparing a letter to the licensing dept. of out local council but apart from this is there anything else you can recommend??

  4. Hi Denise, in the first instance, I would contact Environmental Health if you have a problem with excessive noise from licensed premises, and your local neighbourhood police team for the anti-social behaviour. If you’d like to contact me directly please click on “Get In Touch” at the top of the page.

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