Brixton Academy has been given the green light to reopen, as long as it can meet a number of “robust” safety conditions, Lambeth Council has said.
The decision comes nine months after the venue’s closure in December 2022, following a deadly crowd crush during show from artist Asake that killed two people: 23-year-old security guard Gaby Hutchinson and 33-year-old Rebecca Ikumelo.
The Metropolitan Police reported at the time that around 1,000 people surged inside the venue without tickets during the performance, causing a deadly crowd crush in the foyer of the venue.
Lambeth Council has now granted the venue permission to reopen if it can meet “77 extensive and robust” safety conditions, each designed to promote and ensure public safety.
A hearing regarding the venue’s future began on Monday (September 11) with the council’s licensing subcommittee. It has today concluded that the venue can reopen, permitting certain provisions.
In a statement made today, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, Mahamed Hashi, said that the conditions “were among the measures proposed by (owners) AMG (Academy Music Group) at the hearing to support their aim of regaining the venue’s licence so it can reopen and making sure we never see a tragedy again like the one there in December 2022”.
Such safety conditions include higher level risk assessment, stronger doors, better ticketing and crowd management systems, and a “centralised control and command centre” where crowd safety can be assessed. A new security and management team will also be brought in.
“At the hearing the council’s licensing officers asked that AMG’s initial proposals were greatly strengthened,” said Hashi. “This was accepted by the operator. In total 77 conditions have been agreed by the subcommittee to allow reopening.”
The investigation into potential criminal offences and the deaths of both Gaby Hutchinson and Rebecca Ikumelo still continues, which is currently being led by the Met Police.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins