Brixton Academy to remain closed until April following deaths at Asake gig

The venue will remain shut while several investigations continue

London venue Brixton Academy is to remain closed until April following two deaths caused by a crowd crush at last month’s Asake gig.

The incident occurred when people who were outside the venue were able to force their way in to the show, leading to overcrowding and the gig being cancelled midway through.

Rebecca Ikumelo, aged 33, died in hospital on December 17, while Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died on December 19. A third attendee, aged 21, remains in hospital in a critical condition.

On December 22, it was reported that Brixton Academy’s licence could be temporarily suspended after the incident, with the venue later ordered to remain shut until January 16.

Now, Academy Music Group (AMG), which runs the venue, has said it will stay closed while several investigations continue.

Lambeth Council’s licensing sub-committee is due to meet on Monday (January 16) to decide on the future of the venue according to BBC News and it is understood the council was likely to extend the licence suspension for a further three months.

Brixton’s 02 Academy is cordoned by police off on December 16, 2022 at the Brixton O2 Academy in London, England. CREDIT: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Met Police, which is leading the investigation into the incident, also said it was going to use the meeting to call for the continued suspension of the premises’ licence.

But ahead of the meeting AMG said it had “reflected deeply” and come to its own decision to remain closed.

A spokesperson told the BBC: “O2 Academy Brixton recognises the gravity of the events which occurred on the night of 15th December 2022 and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of those who died during the tragic incident and its genuine concerns for anyone affected by it.

“The licence holder (AMG) is committed to understanding what happened and co-operating with the various investigations that are under way including providing full cooperation to the police in the conduct of their inquiries.”

Representatives from the police, Lambeth Council and AMG are due to speak at the forthcoming licensing meeting, when a full review of the site’s licence will be carried out.

Lambeth Council has the power to further suspend or even permanently revoke the venue’s licence.

The closure is set to affect a series of gigs at the venue this month including Trivium, Wallows, PVRIS, Sleep Token and Viagra Boys. Trivium and Wallows’ gigs on January 15 and 18 respectively have been moved to the Eventim Apollo.

Other gigs that will be affected include Caroline Polachek‘s concert on February 14, Röyksopp‘s performance on February 19, Dry Cleaning‘s forthcoming show on March 3 which has been moved to the Roundhouse, Orbital‘s concert on April 1 and Big Thief‘s show on April 11.

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