Brixton O2 Academy to stay shut for three months after fatal crowd crush

Two people were fatally injured in the crush

The O2 Academy Brixton has said it will remain shut for a further three months following a crowd crush which killed two people at the venue.

Security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were fatally hurt when fans without tickets tried to enter a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the south London site on 15 December. Lambeth Council suspended the Brixton O2’s licence shortly afterwards, pending a full hearing by a sub-committee on Monday (16 January), which the Metropolitan Police force said it would use to “seek a further suspension”.

Brixton's 02 Academy was cordoned off by police

Academy Music Group (AMG), which owns the O2, said on Saturday that it had “reflected deeply” on the incident, and its Brixton venue would remain closed regardless of the licensing decision in two days. A spokesperson said: “O2 Academy Brixton recognises the gravity of the events which occurred on the night of December 15 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, Academy Music Group, is committed to understanding what happened and co-operating with the various investigations that are under way, including providing full co-operation to the police in the conduct of their inquiries. AMG has reflected deeply and has come to its own decision to close the premises for three months while the investigations take place and, at the same time, to work in partnership with the responsible authorities, which will include a review of the licence conditions and proposed amendments.

“The company’s decision to close for this period will be the case whether or not the licence is suspended but AMG agrees to the suspension as an enforceable measure.”

The Met said it had previously sought the longer licence suspension “to allow time to work with the venue to facilitate a safe reopening and to ensure appropriate safeguards, aimed at improving public safety, are in place”.

More to follow.