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Whistleblower alleges O2 Brixton Academy guards “regularly” took bribes to allow people into venue

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A whistleblower claiming to have worked on the O2 Brixton Academy’s security team has alleged that staff members would “regularly” accept bribes to allow people into the venue without a ticket, the BBC reports.

Speaking on File on 4, the guard – given an anonymous pseudonym of Rohan – suggested that the venue’s contracted security firm, AP Security were aware of the practice but took no action to stop it.

“There were people taking money,” he told the BBC. “Some staff made £1,000 cash.

“Our company knew what was going on and they knew the people who were doing it,” he continued. “And they did nothing about it.

“They [some security guards] will tell you a few things, [then you] go round the corner… five them a lot of cash and they will walk you straight in the front door.”

The allegations come as Brixton Academy will remain shut with its licence suspended until at least April 16, as investigations continue into the deadly crowd crush at Afro-pop star Asake’s concert on December 15, 2022.

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died in the days following the crowd crush outside the venue’s entrance and foyer area.

Rohan claimed that AP Security were aware of the practice, because he had been present in meetings where complaints of bribery had been raised about two people in particular, as well as other interactions between bouncers and managers.

He continued to say that while the practice of accepting bribes happened at Brixton, it was also common practice at other venues, festivals, and stadiums that he had worked at across the country.

In a statement provided to the BBC, a spokesperson for the Academy Music Group (AMG), O2 Academy Brixton’s licence holder said: “O2 Academy Brixton recognises the gravity of the events which occurred on the night of the 15th December 20222 and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of those who died during the tragic incident and its genuine concerns for anyone affected by it.

“The licence holder (AMG) is committed to understanding what happened and co-operating with the various investigations that are under way including providing full cooperation to the police in the conduct of their inquiries,” they added.

One person remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Mixmag has reached out to AP Security for comment, who have not provided any at the time of publishing.

Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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