Rainbow Loses License | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Rainbow Loses License

The Rainbow Venues have had their licence suspended following the death of a nineteen year-old man at a Halloween event on Sunday 29 October

Michael Trueman, a student at Birmingham City University, died in hospital the following day. Initial reports suggested that Mr Trueman was thought to have taken MDMA, but his friends have now claimed that his drink may have been spiked.

According to friends, Mr Trueman told a doctor that there had been ‘something blue in his drink and he felt sick.’ Shortly after, he fell into a coma.

Friends told a doctor that there had been 'something blue in his drink and he felt sick'

Initially, police said that the death was not suspicious. They are now investigating but have not commented further.

Following the death, the Rainbow Venues’ license was revoked by Birmingham City Council after a request from West Midlands Police. The suspension affects Rainbow’s Warehouse, Blackbox, and Roof Terrace venues.

It is the second drug-related death at the venue within the last two years. Dylan Booth, 18, from Solihull, died at a New Year's Eve event in 2016 after taking a contaminated substance. The Venues’ license was suspended at the time, and reissued under stricter terms, including under-cover security, sniffer dogs, and extra drugs signage.

In a statement, Rainbow stressed that ‘West Midlands Police have demonstrated that The Rainbow Venues acted responsibly, and adhered by all of its licensing objectives.’

West Midlands Police: 'The Rainbow Venues acted responsibly, and adhered by all of its licensing objectives'

Despite the measures, the licensing sub-committee said that drugs were still “finding their way” into events at the venue. This left the Councillors wondering if the club’s management team were operating the club in a ‘safe manner’.

A student from UoB, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that they felt security at Rainbow has ‘been fairly high over the past few months’ but that it would be ‘impossible for them to catch every individual taking drugs into the club.’

The student added that searches and sniffer dogs have been in place at Rainbow events.

They also praised the care given to those that may have ‘had too much to drink or taken a substance and are in a bad state’ saying that they have witnessed medical attention being given at the club.

Tasha, a third year student, also felt Rainbow’s security had been firm.

‘When I’ve been, there’s been a lot of security personnel in the queue that always give you a body search and a bag search. It is very intimidating, so that might put off potential drug users.’

However, Tasha added that ‘drugs are an inherent part of the underground scene, especially at venues like Rainbow.’

‘I think people will get them in no matter how tight security is.’

'Drugs are an inherent part of the underground scene, especially at venues like Rainbow'

The suspension meant upcoming events had to be moved or cancelled. Applebum, supposed to be at the Rainbow venues on Halloween, was moved last minute to nearby venue Scru. Tektu, normally held every two weeks, was cancelled on 2nd November. An upcoming Tektu on 16th November has been moved to Spotlight/Mama Roux.

The Rainbow Venues’ licence is suspended pending a full review hearing, which will be held within a month.



Published

9th November 2017 at 9:30 am



Images from

The Rainbow Venues



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