Brixton Academy’s Reopening Under Strict Safety Conditions Brixton Academy, which had been closed in the wake of two tragic deaths, has been granted permission to reopen by Lambeth Council.
The iconic music venue in south London had been shuttered following a tragic incident on December 15th when individuals without tickets attempted to enter a show by Nigerian artist Asake, resulting in casualties.
Background of Closure and Licensing Suspension Metropolitan Police had requested the council to revoke the venue’s license after the unfortunate incident, which claimed the lives of security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, with a 21-year-old woman sustaining critical injuries and remaining hospitalized.
The academy’s license was subsequently suspended for three months by Lambeth councillors who have now voted to restore it following a two-day hearing.
Commitment from Venue Owners The venue’s owners, Academy Music Group (AMG), expressed their immense gratitude for the decision and their determination to learn from the incident.
They outlined a comprehensive set of 77 safety conditions that must be met before reopening.
These conditions encompass various aspects, including reinforcing doors, implementing new crowd management systems, conducting detailed risk assessments, introducing a new ticketing system, establishing a centralized control and command center, and enhancing security and management.
Statement from Lambeth Council Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, stressed that Brixton Academy would be allowed to reopen only after meeting these extensive and robust conditions aimed at ensuring public safety.
The council is actively supporting the ongoing police investigation into the incident.
Perspective from Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police clarified that their objective was not the permanent closure of the venue but a change in the licensee from AMG.
They acknowledged the cultural significance of Brixton Academy and its importance in the Lambeth community.
Efforts and Investment by AMG AMG, which has operated the venue for two decades, has dedicated substantial resources to analyze the incident and invested £1.2 million in maintenance and improvements in 2023.
They intend to reopen the academy with a series of test events, with the timeline to be announced.
Community and Political Responses Local representatives, including Marina Ahmad, London Assembly Labour economy spokesperson, and Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall, expressed support for the reopening while emphasizing the paramount importance of safety.
They aim to ensure that the venue remains a secure and vibrant part of the community’s cultural scene. Meetings with AMG are planned to seek further assurances regarding safety enhancements before reopening.