Hooray! Brixton Academy will be allowed to reopen

After closing down in January 2023 following a crowd crush and two deaths, the O2 Academy Brixton will soon be allowed to reopen. At a hearing last week Lambeth Council agreed that the Brixton Academy could have its licence reinstated if it met 77 ‘extensive and robust’ conditions. 

On December 15, 2022, a crush during an Asake concert killed Gabrielle Hutchinson, 23, a security worker, and mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33. A 21-year-old woman who was injured at the show also remains in a critical condition in hospital. It was alleged that security staff had accepted bribes to allow extra punters into gigs. The Brixton Academy had its licence suspended. 

At a two-day hearing on September 11 and 12 Academy Music Group (AMG) presented its plan for the future safe running of the gig venue. Its new safety measures include introducing stronger doors, new crowd management systems, more detailed risk assessments, a new ticketing system, a centralised control and command centre and new security and management. Following this proposal, Lambeth Council decided AMG would be able to run the venue safely. 

Lambeth councillor Dr Mahamed Hashi said in a statement: ‘AMG will now need to put in place the agreed measures to enable the reopening of this much-loved local venue, which is a key part of Brixton’s cultural heritage and has been enjoyed by millions. We’ll be working to closely monitor all licensing conditions to ensure that safety is at the forefront of the venue’s future operations.’

AMG said it was ‘immensely grateful’ to the council for allowing the venue to reopen and said it plans to run a series of test events as part of the reopening process. 

The Met Police is continuing to investigate the incident and said it would work with AMG and the council to ensure ‘safety is paramount’.

A reopening timeline for Brixton Academy will be announced soon – we can’t wait to be back inside and gigging. 

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