​O2 Academy Brixton to reopen for the first time in 16 months

today04/03/2024 2

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The O2 Academy Brixton has announced that it will reopen in April, more than 16 months after it was shuttered following a deadly crowd crush in the venue’s foyer that killed two people.

The venue will open back up on Friday, April 19, it announced today, and must comply with 77 “robust” safety conditions implemented by Lambeth Council.

The O2 Academy Brixton was shuttered on December 15, 2022, following a crowd crush at an Asake concert that left two people dead and another in critical condition.

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33-year-old mother of two, was fatally injured during the crush, and security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died from wounds sustained two days later.

The venue’s licence was temporarily suspended, leaving discussions on its future to the venue’s owner, Academy Music Group (AMG), Lambeth Council and the Met Police.

In April last year, the Met Police requested permanent closure of the venue saying that it had “lost confidence” in operators Academy Music Group (AMG), asking that it be stripped of its licence completely.

The following month, a petition was launched to save the venue from closure. The petition far succeeded its target with more than 115,000 signatures.

The first test event at the O2 Academy Brixton will take place next month with performances from four tribute bands. The bands due to play will cover songs by The Smiths, Oasis, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana.

The venue must comply with “77 extensive and robust” safety conditions when it reopens, each designed to promote and ensure public safety. The conditions surround police liaison, risk assessment, and event management.

“We have not shied away from our duty to identify what went wrong and where responsibility lies,” said Lambeth Council’s Horatio Waller KC in September. “This is necessary to ensure lessons can be learned.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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