Brixton Academy has received approval to reopen, provided it complies with a set of stringent safety requirements established by Lambeth Council.
This decision follows a closure that lasted for nine months, initiated in December 2022, after a tragic incident during a performance by artist Asake resulted in a deadly crowd crush, claiming the lives of two individuals: Gaby Hutchinson, a 23-year-old security guard, and Rebecca Ikumelo, a 33-year-old concertgoer.
The Metropolitan Police’s initial report indicated that approximately 1,000 individuals without tickets surged into the venue during the show, resulting in a fatal crowd crush within the venue’s foyer.
Lambeth Council has now granted permission for the venue to resume operations, contingent on its ability to satisfy “77 extensive and robust” safety conditions, all of which are meticulously crafted to uphold and ensure public safety.
A hearing regarding the venue’s future commenced on September 11 with the council’s licensing subcommittee. Following deliberations, it has been decided that the venue can reopen, subject to specific provisions.
In an official statement issued today, Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, expressed that these conditions “were among the measures proposed by the owners, AMG (Academy Music Group), during the hearing to support their objective of regaining the venue’s license, enabling it to reopen, and ensuring that a tragedy like the one in December 2022 never occurs again.”
Some of the safety conditions include more comprehensive risk assessments, reinforced entrances, improved ticketing and crowd control systems, as well as the establishment of a “centralised control and command centre” for monitoring crowd safety. Additionally, a new security and management team will be appointed to oversee operations.
Hashi further stated, “During the hearing, the council’s licensing officers pushed for significant enhancements to AMG’s initial proposals, which were duly accepted by the operator. In total, the subcommittee has agreed upon 77 conditions to facilitate the reopening.”
The investigation into potential criminal offenses and the unfortunate deaths of both Gaby Hutchinson and Rebecca Ikumelo remains ongoing and is presently under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.
Written by: HMR