Born from a small capacity venue was an after-party like no other. Every Saturday, at exactly 02:31am, two Birmingham promoters opened the doors of The Rainbow Venues and welcomed an excited crowd.
In its youth, local DJs occupied the decks and created a party culture within the city that differed from the rest. 02:31 increasingly became popular and throughout the years, has invited international DJs to perform, hosted stages at festivals and even has residing shows on UK radio stations.
Five years on, 02:31 celebrates its success as one of the Midlands’ biggest club brands and will host its greatest show to-date in October with the likes of Wiley, Shy FX and original 02:31 resident (now global sensation) Hannah Wants.
In the lead up to 02:31’s 5th birthday, The Rainbow Venues takes a look at its rising residents and their role in the Birmingham club brand. In series one, 02:31’s co-founders talk about the success of Hannah Wants.
Tom Shorterz, co-promoter of 02:31, says:
We had a different vibe to most clubs in the city in 2011 and it was around the time this melting pot of sounds was happening; we coined it ‘House & Bass.’ House & Bass was basically how we described the mixture of genres we played for the sake of promoting it on flyers etc.
There was one DJ who I used to buy records off, back when the Speed Garage and Bassline scene was popping off – Hannah Wants. We knew each other from back-in-the-day and always kept in touch by trading tune ID’s. Her early mix CDs used to really stand out for me and we thought it ticked every box on what we were trying to achieve musically at 02:31. So, with a little convincing, we gave Hannah a shot at performing and she smashed the roof off the whole place.
Her success is obvious to anyone in the industry and it’s amazing that she started off with us five years ago. Her work rate is really admirable. She used to perform the last set of the night, with us, because she was playing other gigs up and down the country; DJing Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the early hours. If she wasn’t DJing, she was interacting with the crowd – something she still does. I watched her walk around the dancefloor, handing out her mixtapes to people
Andy Bell, co-promoter of 02:31, added:
When I look back to the very earliest days of 02:31, Hannah and Tom would always play back-to-back and we would have huge queues hours before we would open our doors. Lets bear in mind, we didn’t open until 02:31am, so it was madness! They wouldn’t move rain or shine – knowing the venue was limited capacity and they might not get to see Hannah. We knew when we came across Hannah, she had that star quality, that something extra thats required to get to where she is now in the music industry.
It was great to watch Hannah constantly taking the time before or after her set to have photos taken with the crowd – and then going speak to the people reaching out to her. Refreshing to see when sometimes the 02:31 gig would be her 3rd of 4th of that evening . She’s always been so humble and continued to take that with her all around the world. You see it on her social media how much she interacts with people.
In 2016, Hannah Wants now hosts one of the world’s biggest clubs, Amnesia, Ibiza, with her own What Hannah Wants brand. The brand has sold out tours worldwide, including the UK, USA and Australia and the Birmingham spin doctor has been booked for every festival under the sun, including Glastonbury!
Catch Hannah Wants performing in her hometown at The Rainbow Venues for 02:31’s 5th birthday on October 1st.