The popular SW9 spot closed its shutters in January this year after a crowd-crush at an Asake concert left two people dead and another in critical condition.
Rebecca Ikumelo, 33-year-old mother of two, was fatally injured during the crowd-crush when 1,000 people stormed the venue while security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died from wounds sustained two days later.
Since its suspension, discussions between the venue’s owner, Academy Music Group (AMG), Lambeth Council and the Met police have been ongoing, but not without conflict.
During a hearing for the south London music venue’s to be reinstated earlier this month, a representative of the Met police said that the while force want Brixton Academy to remain open, it has lost confidence in the group to safely run the site.
Earlier in the year, reports suggested that the Met police had in fact wanted the space closed entirely. In response to the news, a petition with over 100,000 signatures started to save the iconic venue.
On September 15, Lambeth Council announced that the popular South London spot had made the changes necessitated from its reopening terms. The “extensive and robust” set of conditions surround police liason, risk assessment, event management, security personnel and emergency evacuation procedures. Horatio Waller KC, on behalf of the council, said:
“We have not shied away from our duty to identify what went wrong and where responsibility lies. This is necessary to ensure lessons can be learned.”
Waller insisted that the conditions were “much more comprehensive, prescriptive and controlled” than the previous system and that the tragedy at the Asake concert on December 15 would likely have not happened.
Organisations such as Music Venue Trust (MVT) and Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) have welcomed the decision, hailing the cultural importance of the venue to its neighbourhood, music fans and the wider ecosystem of live music.
Tibor Heskett is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins