O2 Academy Brixton can reopen when 77 safety conditions are met

18 September 2023 by
O2 Academy Brixton can reopen when 77 safety conditions are met

The O2 Academy Brixton in London can reopen once 77 new conditions have been met, Lambeth Council has said.

The music venue has been closed since December 2022 after two people died in a crush after ticketless fans tried to force entry.

The council held a two-day licensing hearing on whether it could reopen last week.

It said the "extensive and robust conditions" were designed to promote "public safety" and protect both visitors and employees.

These include installing stronger doors, new ticketing systems, security and management at the venue.

Councillor Dr Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth's cabinet member for safer communities, said the venue's owner, Academy Music Group (AMG), had proposed the measures at the hearing to make sure "we never see a tragedy again like the one there in December 2022".

AMG, which has operated the venue for 20 years, will need to put the measures in place before the site can reopen.

The group said in a statement that it was "immensely grateful" to Lambeth Council for the decision and would trial a series of test events at the 02 Brixton Academy.

The venue has spent £1.2m on maintenance and improvements in 2023, despite being closed.

The Metropolitan Police is continuing to investigate whether any criminal offences were committed during the incident last year.

Concert-goer Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and security worker Gaby Hutchinson, 23, both died during the incident, while another person remains in hospital.

The Metropolitan Police said it would work with AMG and the council to ensure the O2 Academy Brixton would reopen in an environment where "safety is paramount".

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) welcomed the news that the venue is set to reopen.

"Brixton Academy has consistently held a special place in the hearts of music aficionados and its cultural significance is immeasurable," said Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA.

"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."

He added: "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."

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