Brixton Academy Shuts Down Indefinitely Following Asake Crowd Crush Deaths

Brixton Academy shut down indefinitely
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Brixton Academy shut down indefinitely
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Photo Credit: Drew de F Fawkes / CC by 2.0

Brixton Academy is ordered to shut down temporarily following the crowd crush incident at an Asake concert that killed two people.

The Brixton O2 Academy has been ordered to shut down temporarily after the venue’s license was suspended following the crowd crush that resulted in the deaths of two people. The Lambeth Council’s licensing subcommittee suspended the venue’s license on Thursday until a follow-up meeting on January 15.

The decision comes after the deaths of Gaby Hutchinson, a 23-year-old security guard, and Rebecca Ikumelo, a 33-year-old mother of two, in the hospital following the crowd crush in the venue’s foyer during a performance by Nigerian artist Asake on December 15. A 21-year-old woman was also injured as fans without tickets attempted to gain entry and remains in critical condition in the hospital.

Fred Cowell, a council member, said the safety risks would remain too high if Brixton Academy were allowed to stay open.

“In the view of the licensing subcommittee, given the severity of events of December 15, the risks to public safety as a consequence of, in particular, serious disorder arising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors of the venue remain high if the venue were able to operate as before,” said Cowell.

Rebecca Ikumelo, the first of two people to have died as a result of their injuries, passed away last Saturday, two days after the crush incident. On Monday, Gaby Hutchinson, who had been working as a contracted security guard for the event that night, was confirmed as the second person to die following the tragedy.

Both victims were in the foyer of the building when they were critically injured as a crowd rushed the entrance. Eight people were taken to the hospital with injuries.

Removal of the venue’s license means it will be forced to close, postponing several shows and canceling its plans for a New Year’s Eve drum and bass music night. That said, Brixton Academy had offered a voluntary closure before the council meeting and the suspension of its license.