O2 Academy Brixton to reopen 16 months after deadly crush killed two people

4 March 2024, 14:58

£1.2 million was spent on maintenance and improvements in 2023, despite the venue not being open, a hearing was told.
£1.2 million was spent on maintenance and improvements in 2023, despite the venue not being open, a hearing was told. Picture: Alamy/Handout/Police Handout
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

The O2 Academy Brixton will reopen in April, it has been confirmed - 16 months after two people were killed in the crush.

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Security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were killed after fans without tickets tried to force their way into a show by Nigerian artist Asake.

After the incident on December 15, 2022, the south London-based venue faced permanent closure after the Metropolitan Police urged the council to remove its licence.

Read more: 'It's agony for us': Parents of Brixton Academy victim urge witnesses to come forward as they praise 'angel' daughter

Read more: Brixton Academy allowed to reopen after two killed in fatal crowd crush at Asake gig

However, after a two-day hearing in September 2023, Lambeth Council voted to allow O2 Academy Brixton to continue operating - but only if it meets "77 extensive and robust conditions".

Security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23 (right), and Rebecca Ikumelo (left), 33, were killed.
Security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23 (right), and Rebecca Ikumelo (left), 33, were killed. Picture: Handout/Police Handout

Now, there is confirmation that when the venue opens on April 19, the first two shows will feature tribute acts, instead of famous bands.

On X/Twitter, O2 Academy Brixton wrote: "O2 Academy Brixton will reopen on Friday 19 April with Nirvana UK (tribute to Nirvana) and The Smyths (tribute to The Smiths), followed by Friday 26 April with Definitely Mightbe (tribute to Oasis) and UK Food Fighters (tribute to Foo Fighters)."

Around 1,000 people were outside the venue when police arrived to "large-scale disorder", where crows would then push the door open - according to Gerald Gouriet KC who represented the Met Police at a Lambeth Council licensing meeting.

Brixton Academy is owned by Academy Music Group (AMG), which runs 18 live music venues across the UK, including three others in London.

They have said it had developed new safety measures to ensure their licence is restored, including stronger doors, a better queuing system, and more secure ticketing.

£1.2 million was spent on maintenance and improvements in 2023, despite the venue not being open, a hearing was told.

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