London’s Brixton O2 Academy to Remain Closed for At Least Three More Months

London Brixton O2 Academy to remain closed
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London Brixton O2 Academy to remain closed
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Photo Credit: Bene Riobó / CC by 4.0

The Brixton O2 Academy in London will remain closed for at least three more months. Two people died, and several more were injured at a crowd crush event in the foyer.

The Lambeth Council suspended the license of Brixton Academy for at least three months. Academy Music Group intended to keep the venue closed during those three months. “In the view of the licensing subcommittee, given the severity of events of December 15, the risks to public safety as a consequence or, in particular, serious disorder rising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors of the venue remain high if the venue were able to operate as before,” Councillor Fred Cowell stated about the incident during the first license suspension meeting.

According to the BBC, the Met Police told the committee it found investigating the event challenging. It involves collecting statements from hundreds of potential witnesses, examining more than 500 sets of documents, reviewing social media content of that night, and analyzing footage of 40 CCTV cameras.

“Until we know what happened, we can’t say what needs to be done differently,” says Met lawyer Gerald Gouriet. “The answers won’t be known for some time. Police were called to the venue by staff after the doors were closed due to a large crowd gathering.

“When [police] arrived, they found large-scale disorder, the crowd pushing against the doors, trying to force them open, which they eventually did. When the doors were breached, the crowd poured into the lobby towards the auditorium. Several people fell to the floor,” Mr. Gouriet adds. Police don’t know the full extent of injuries sustained as the inquiry is still ongoing. At least two people died, while a third person remains critically injured in a hospital.

Academy Music Group lawyer Stephen Walsh says the company remains ‘committed’ to learning what went wrong during the crowd crush. The committee members have decided the soonest Brixton Academy can re-open its doors is April 16.