By Angela Green
The O2 Academy Brixton will be allowed to reopen after its owners agreed to meet 77 “extensive and robust” safety measures in response to a fatal incident at the venue in December 2022, when two people died and others were seriously injured following a crowd crush at the door.
Following the episode during a gig by the Afrobeats star Asake, Academy Music Group (AMG) temporarily lost its licence to run the south London concert hall.
During a two-day hearing of Lambeth council’s licensing subcommittee last week, the legal team representing AMG, expressed “deep sorrow” for the families of the victims. They went on to state that their clients had conducted a “root and branch exercise” to improve safety at the venue.
Lambeth council’s licensing subcommittee voted to allow the venue to continue operating but only on a condition of meeting 77 “extensive and robust new conditions”.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill said of the ruling: “We are pleased to announce that Brixton Academy (The O2 Academy Brixton) will retain its license and is poised to reopen, marking a momentous milestone in safeguarding this cherished landmark.
“Our profound appreciation goes out to the countless supporters and stakeholders who rallied behind us during this critical juncture.
“Brixton Academy has consistently held a special place in the hearts of music aficionados, and its cultural significance is immeasurable. We have consistently advocated for its safe reopening, and today’s decision reaffirms our unwavering commitment to ensuring its continued success as a hub for live music and entertainment.
“This achievement owes much to our collaboration with the local community, artists, and devoted fans. Together, we have showcased the resilience and unyielding spirit that define Brixton and its dynamic music scene. We are indebted to each and every individual who signed petitions, participated in meetings, and voiced their support through various avenues.
“We also recognise the profound responsibility that accompanies this, and acknowledge the tragic events of last December, which resulted in the loss of two lives.
“We are resolute in our commitment to supporting the implementation of the agreed stringent safety measures to prevent any such tragedy from recurring. Our paramount concern remains the safety and enjoyment of all those who enjoy nightlife.
“This is a testament to the potency of collective action and the enduring passion for live and electronic music culture. As we embark on this journey forward, we eagerly anticipate welcoming music enthusiasts, artists, and the community to partake in the enchantment of live performances once more.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude for standing alongside us and for safeguarding this iconic venue. Together, we will continue to inscribe the history of Brixton Academy with indelible musical moments and cherished memories.”