Proving to be one of the most popular events in the Birmingham social calendar and now into its 13th incarnation, the daytime extravaganza of The Rainbow Venues Chapter 13 Festival offered a string of exceptional line ups that included a host of stellar DJs. It covered an assortment of genres across the musical spectrum, ranging from the intense techno of Dense and Pika and Adam Beyer all the way to the varied and melodic sounds of Gerd Janson and Midland, leaving dedicated and passionate revelers who had traveled from all corners of the country to the spectacular one off, event spoiled for choice.
Hosting over 9 diverse stages was the collection of some of the best loved record labels from across the globe, including the likes of Drumcode and Apollonia and a mixture of the most established club nights from the thriving local club scene, which provided the second city with an unforgettable experience and has seen the yearly gathering grow to a whole new level.
As we made our way through the blistering sunshine of the outdoor arenas and the contrasting darkness of the indoor areas of the Rainbow complex, it was easy to tell the party was already in full swing, especially when entering renowned promoters Leftfoot's takeover in the Blackbox, were we caught resident DJs Adam Regan and Matt Beck warm up the proceedings. Joining the guys on the decks afterwards was master of the re-edit Mark E, whose unique fusion of dreamlike house and harsh electro cuts, with a mention of Cowboy Rhythmbox's pulsating 'Mecanique Sauvage' created the perfect ambiance to the clublike feel of the room.
Just a stones throw away in the packed out Garden area and being transported back into the beaming sunshine, we were welcomed with the sunkissed vibes of Tektu residents Trav and Tucker. The pairing delivered a blend of decent underground house grooves, making the perfect setting to the blissful and chilled out surroundings.
Heading back into the already heaving Blackbox, we witnessed Running back head honcho Gerd Janson, who's enigmatic and sublime set list proved to be the stand out performance of the whole festivities. Mixing from electro to acid and everything in between, it's no wonder this maverick is one of the most in demand selectors of recent years.
The eclectic connoisseur treated us to a selection of the heaviest electric and unreleased fierce sounding beats around, dropping an array of quality jams from CLS's acid house anthem 'Can You Feel It', Ashley Beedle's playful 'Your Acid Life' and ending his flawless set with the classic French house cut of Alan Braxe and Fred Falke's immense 'Intro', leaving the crowd ecstatic and causing some serious damage on the dance floor amongst the sweaty and intense atmosphere.
Taking over the decks and not showing any sign of slowing down was Graded boss Midland, the man responsible for last years epic and quintessential end of the night track 'Final Credits'. The aficionado delivered his unique blend of kaleidoscopic sounds to the vibrant crowd. His rapturous set included a blasting of Daphni's intense 'Ye Ye', the euphoric house feel of Kingpin Cartel's 'Ghetto' and even a spin of his own previously mentioned signature tune towards the end of his energetic mix, which had party goers whipped up into a frenzy in the industrial settings.
Afterwards, we headed towards the Art Of Dark stage to witness the brutal sounds of Zip's vigorous techno infused style. The Panorama Bar resident supplied a more sinister sounding set, compared to his usual blend of minimal tempos by bringing a darker edge to the rather chilled and scenic Terrace area.
Whilst laying down the beats in the Tektu garden was up and coming tech house fanatic East End Dubs, who delivered a raucous mix to the intimate surroundings. The buoyant producer provided us with his brand of upbeat tunes to the masses, even with a hammering of his own pounding track 'Mind Over' that saw the revelers get lost in amongst the weighty rhythms.
Making our way back into the bustling Blackbox arena, we were lucky enough to catch the second half of The Black Madonna's dynamic set. The Chi-Town selector presented the pleasure seekers to an array of the finest obscure disco edits and sleazy jacking cuts, which included legendary Chicago producers Robert Armani's solid sounding 'Circus Bells' and Ralphi Rosario's furious 'All Right Now!' dub, making the beat hungry crowd craving for lashings of more savage sounds from her impeccable Birmingham debut.
Even though we were closely coming to the end of the festivals antics we were then treated with an official afterparty to look forward to, hosted by one of London's most infamous club nights Fuse to round off the nights activities meant we were able to carry the excessive behaviour well into the early hours of the morning, without the guilt of having to succumb to an early night.