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O2 Academy Brixton to remain shut for three months

Lambeth Council has ordered the venue to close for an additional three months as investigations continue into last month's fatal crowd crush

By James Hanley on 16 Jan 2023

O2 Academy Brixton is part of the Academy Music Group

London’s O2 Academy Brixton will remain closed for a further three months as investigations continue into the deadly crowd surge at the venue that resulted in two people losing their lives.

The venue had its premises licence suspended by Lambeth Council last month following the 15 December show by Afrobeats singer/songwriter Asake, which was abandoned following reports that a large number of people were attempting to force entry to the 4,921-cap venue.

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and 23-year-old Gaby Hutchinson both suffered fatal injuries in the incident, while a third person was left in a critical condition.

The initial 28-day temporary closure of the venue applied until today (16 January), when Lambeth Council suspended its licence for an additional three months. The suspension will apply until 16 April.

The authority also imposed a condition requiring the venue to cease all licensable activities pending it submitting a variation application – and it granting that application.

“The families and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson have suffered an incredibly painful bereavement and other people have suffered serious injury in this incident,” says Cllr Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth’s cabinet member for safer communities.

“I thank the sub-committee for their efforts today to ensure that we see no repeat of December’s shocking scenes. They have carefully considered all the issues and listened to all parties before coming to this considered and important decision.”

“It is now up to the O2 Academy Brixton to work with the authorities and come up with workable changes to their licence, to deal with these matters, and to make a variation application”

Cllr Hashi continues: “It is now up to the O2 Academy Brixton to work with the authorities and come up with workable changes to their licence, to deal with these matters, and to make a variation application. Lambeth Council will continue to support the Met Police’s separate investigation into the tragic events of December 15 and support those in our community who have been traumatised by the shocking scenes at one of our borough’s most famous venues.”

A separate criminal investigation is also being carried out by detectives to examine the events of the night and surrounding issues.

Venue operator Academy Music Group had already announced O2 Academy Brixton would remain shut for an additional three months prior to today’s council meeting. Wallows’ scheduled 18 January date at the venue has been switched to Eventim Apollo, with announcements pending on other shows.

“O2 Academy Brixton recognises the gravity of the events which occurred on the night of 15 December 2022 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,” says an AMG statement.

“[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.”


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