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Brixton Academy’s licence temporarily suspended following crowd crush at Asake show

By | Published on Friday 23 December 2022

London’s Brixton Academy has had its licence temporarily suspended by Lambeth Council following the fatal crowd crush that occurred during an Asake show there last week.

It’s Lambeth Council’s licensing subcommittee that has formally suspended the venue’s licence pending a more detailed review that will now take place at a meeting on 16 Jan. The Academy’s management had already offered to voluntarily close the building until that date, but London’s Metropolitan Police argued that a more formal suspension of the venue’s licence was appropriate.

The final of three Asake performances at the South London venue was cut short on Thursday 15 Dec after crowd issues began to occur outside. There were reports that problems escalated when some people without tickets tried to force their way into the building, although a number of other allegations about crowd management issues on the night have also been made.

Two people died in the resulting crowd crush. Rebecca Ikumelo died from injuries she sustained during the incident last Saturday. It was then confirmed on Monday that Gaby Hutchinson, who was working as a security contractor at the show, had also died.

According to Sky News, when confirming the licence suspension, the committee’s chair – Councillor Fred Cowell – stated: “In the view of the licensing subcommittee, given the severity of events of 15 Dec, the risks to public safety as a consequence of, 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”.

Several planned shows have been postponed and a New Year’s Eve event cancelled as a result of the decision to keep the Academy closed until at least mid-January.