O2 Academy Brixton

O2 Brixton Academy to re-open if 77 new conditions are met by AMG

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After a two-day hearing Lambeth Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee has permitted the O2 Brixton Academy to re-open, but only once it has met 77 extensive and robust new conditions designed to promote public safety, including the safety of both visitors and employees.

Stronger doors, new crowd management systems, more detailed risk assessments, a new ticketing system, a new centralised control and command centre as well as new security and management at the venue, were among the measures proposed by AMG at the hearing to support its aim of regaining the venue’s licence so it can re-open.

At the hearing the council’s licensing officers asked that AMG’s initial proposals were greatly strengthened. This was accepted by the operator. In total 77 conditions have been agreed by the sub-committee to allow re-opening.

The investigation into whether any criminal offences have been committed is being led by the Met Police, and its work continues. Lambeth Council said it will do everything it can to support thw police investigation so that there are answers and justice for the families of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gabrielle Hutchinson who lost their lives at the Academy in December.

AMG will now need to put in place the agreed measures to enable the re-opening of the venue, which is a key part of Brixton’s cultural heritage and has been enjoyed by millions.

Following the announcement from Lambeth Council that Brixton Academy will retain its license and under new operating and licensing conditions be able to reopen, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: “We are pleased to announce that Brixton Academy will retain its license and is poised to reopen, marking a momentous milestone in safeguarding this cherished landmark.

“Our profound appreciation goes out to the countless supporters and stakeholders who rallied behind us during this critical juncture.

“Brixton Academy has consistently held a special place in the hearts of music aficionados, and its cultural significance is immeasurable. 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.

“This achievement owes much to our collaboration with the local community, artists, and devoted fans. Together, we have showcased the resilience and unyielding spirit that define Brixton and its dynamic music scene. We are indebted to each and every individual who signed petitions, participated in meetings, and voiced their support through various avenues.

“We also recognise the profound responsibility that accompanies this, and acknowledge the tragic events of last December, which resulted in the loss of two lives.

“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.

“This is a testament to the potency of collective action and the enduring passion for live and electronic music culture. As we embark on this journey forward, we eagerly anticipate welcoming music enthusiasts, artists, and the community to partake in the enchantment of live performances once more.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude for standing alongside us and for safeguarding this iconic venue. Together, we will continue to inscribe the history of Brixton Academy with indelible musical moments and cherished memories.”

The council committee’s full hearing can be viewed here.

Image: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona