Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Maya Jane Coles, Sasha, Art Department and Loco Dice will all be in Digbeth on Easter weekend
Birmingham's Rainbow Venues - a complex of club, warehouse and bar spaces in the heart of post-industrial Digbeth - are 12 years old this month. And to celebrate, they're holding a festival on 26 March called Chapter XII.
The daytime event runs from 10.30am to midnight, and set to appear are Art Department, Dubfire, Guy Gerber, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice, Maya Jane Coles, Nic Fanciulli, Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Pan-Pot, Adam Shelton, Alan Fitzpatrick, Argy, Crazy P, Dense & Pika, Enzo Siragusa, Futureboogie, George Fitzgerald, Mak & Pasteman, Mele, Mella Dee, NYTA, Nick Curly, Preditah and Redlight. Quite a line-up, we're sure you'll agree! The action then moves indoors for Chapter XII By Night from 11.30pm to 6am, with Patrick Topping, wAFF, Infinity Ink (live), Russ Yallop, Marc Maya and Andres Campo.
With every one of Rainbow's many spaces in use for Chapter XII, capacity is a whopping 12,000 and tickets are available now, priced £40 for the daytime party and £17.50 for Chapter XII By Night.
We spoke to main man Lee McDonald to find out more...
Let's talk about the venue itself first of all. Can you tell us a little bit about its history, both in the past 12 years and previously?
"I spent years trying to find a rave derelict rave space available for parties. In 2004, the Rainbow Venue’s previous landlord predominantly favoured reggae, and house music was never really recognised, until he agreed to let Adam Shelton and I throw the notorious Below party in there, during the day on Sunday.
"As its popularity grew, the authorities became a problem, which led to me taking on the premises. It’s great to see that how much it has transformed in the last 12 years. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve introduced three new spaces to our venues and will be launching something spectacular again this year. I love it, and love seeing the excitement on our crowd's face when they hear about what we are getting up to and the events we put on for them."
The big event you've got coming up for your 12th birthday is the Chapter XII festival on 26 March. Tell us about that...
"It’s Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which is a no-brainer really. 12 hours of raving with an after- party on top is perfect for that weekend and our 12th birthday falls a few days later. Birmingham has set the bar high for daytime events, especially on Bank Holidays, and this is the third year we've put on Chapter festival and it's worked really well this time of year."
What are some of the highlights of the Chapter XII festival for you personally? What acts are you looking forward to seeing the most?
"I always get excited at seeing the final outcome of the work put in by my team and I - seeing months of preparation and hard work, completed in front of me. I'm buzzing to have such a good team behind me. As for the actual festival, we’re operating some audiovisual performances that have only been done in the UK on one other occasion. dubfire: live hybrid will definitely be one to watch out for.
"If we’re talking about performances, I can’t miss out Richie Hawtin. I was in Brazil when I got the confirmation email and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. On top of that, I mean, it's 42 internationally acclaimed DJs. Who aren’t I excited about?"
But the festival is only one in a series of events that's already underway, is that right? How does that work, and again, what are some of the highlights?
"Our opening run of events of the year is imprinted under our ‘Chapter series’ and basically launches the first-quarter events programme. We don’t just do music events, we’ve got exciting food and theatre functions, street party closures, pop up shows and we'll be launching brand new concepts soon, too.
"The Rainbow Venues is situated across the backdrop of Digbeth’s beautiful railway arches, which makes it pretty unique. Alongside our heavy line-up of artists performing, I’m really excited for Trainspotting to be performed under our railway arches in a rendition of Irvine Welsh’s novel."
Chapter XII festival takes place on 26 March. Tickets are available here.
Tags: Rainbow Venues, Birmingham, Art Department, Dubfire, Guy Gerber, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice, Maya Jane Coles, Nic Fanciulli, Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Pan-Pot, Adam Shelton, Alan Fitzpatrick, Argy, Crazy P, Dense & Pika, Enzo Siragusa, Futureboogie, George Fitzgerald, Mak & Pasteman, Mele, Mella Dee, NYTA, Nick Curly, Preditah