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More than 20,000 representations submitted in support of Brixton Academy ahead of licence review

By | Published on Wednesday 17 May 2023

Brixton Academy

More than 20,000 people have now made representations to Lambeth Council in support of the Brixton Academy, according to the organisers of a campaign to save the south London venue.

London’s Metropolitan Police have asked the council to review the licence of current venue operators the Academy Music Group following the crowd crush incident that occurred during an Asake show there last year in which two people died.

The venue has been closed ever since that incident. The Live Nation allied AMG says that it has provided Lambeth Council and the Metropolitan Police with “detailed proposals that we believe will enable the venue to reopen safely”.

However, the police argue that AMG’s analysis of what went wrong at the Asake show last year is “far too narrow”, as it primarily focuses on crowd management issues that occurred outside the venue. In fact, the Met has stated that it has “lost confidence in the premises licence holder” and believes that AMG’s licence should be revoked.

As part of the council’s review of Brixton Academy’s operations and licence, the public was invited to make representations. The deadline for such submissions passed earlier this week.

Last week, the Night Time Industries Association teamed up with the Save Our Scene campaign and the Brixton BID collective of local businesses to urge music fans and the music community to communicate their support for the Brixton Academy to the local authority.

The three organisations offered suggested text that highlighted the venue’s importance to both the London and UK music scenes, as well as supporting AMG itself, including the statement: “For decades the Brixton Academy under Academy Music Group management has been a safe and inclusive space for people to enjoy a wide range of cultural activities”.

With the deadline for formally submitting support now passed, the NTIA has revealed that more than 20,000 representations were made. The trade group’s CEO Michael Kill says: “We have been overwhelmed with the level of response to this campaign, with over 20,000 representations made by music fans to Lambeth Council with support from The Prodigy, Muse, Defected, NME, Mixmag, Music Week, Skunk Anansie and many more”.

Meanwhile, Save Our Scene CEO George Fleming adds: “The response to this campaign has been immense and further highlights the public’s desire for Brixton Academy to have a future as a live music venue. Lambeth Council must do everything they can to preserve Brixton Academy. Displacing a community would be a dangerous move which could result in a lot more work for themselves and the Met Police”.

And Brixton BID MD Gianluca Rizzo says: “The huge support for the Brixton Academy with 20,000 letters submitted to Lambeth and thousands of messages across all social media show the importance of this venue. However, we cannot forget that a delayed decision has a negative impact on Brixton businesses, in fact since its closure, over half a million pounds per week is being lost in visitors spending. Let’s turn the lights back on for Brixton”.