London’s O2 Academy Brixton has had its license suspended until April, it has been confirmed.
A crush on the final night of Asake’s three concert run at the London venue resulted in a crush, with tragic consequences. 23-year-old Gabrielle Hutchinson, who was working as a security contractor at the concert, died following the crush, alongside 33-year-old fan Rebecca Ikumelo; one fan remains in a critical condition in hospital.
In the aftermath of the incident O2 Academy Brixton closed voluntarily, with a meeting of Lambeth Council suspending the venue’s license until January 16th.
Over the weekend, the team at O2 Academy Brixton confirmed that the venue would remain closed voluntarily until April.
A statement on the latest developments at the Brixton Academy following December’s critical incident: pic.twitter.com/t1KH8n6nT3— Florence Eshalomi MP (@FloEshalomi) January 16, 2023
A further hearing took place earlier today, with Florence Eshalomi MP tweeting that the venue’s license has been suspended for a “further three months whilst a comprehensive investigation into the tragic loss of life there in December continues.”
“It is welcome that this decision has been agreed on by both the Police and the venue management,” Eshalomi’s statement continues. “I am also pleased that the Academy recognise the need for additional conditions to be added to their license to improve the safety regime at concerts before they reopen. They are working with the authorities closely on what needs to happen to ensure this, and will submit proposals for approval at a further hearing in due course.”
Cllr Fred Cowell spoke to the Evening Standard, explaining that the move was to enable a thorough investigation into what happened during the Asake crush. “Both the police and the licence holder have expressed the view that the ongoing investigations are at too early a stage to clearly identify the cause or causes of the fatal incident on the 15th December 2022 and the extent of any remedial steps required to prevent any repetition of a serious incident.”
“As a consequence the licensing sub-committee is not presently satisfied that the venue can reopen at this stage without undermining the licensing objectives.”