O2 Academy Brixton: Operator planning new crowd barriers if venue can reopen


By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporting Service

The operator of the O2 Academy Brixton wants to replace its crowd control barriers if it is allowed to re-open following a fatal crush outside one of its concerts, it has been revealed.

The venue was temporarily stripped of its licence and has been closed since two people died in December.

The barriers are among several measures being proposed by the Academy Music Group (AMG), which runs the venue.

A hearing in September is expected to decide the future of the site.

Gabrielle Hutchinson, 23, a security worker at the venue, and mum-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, died from injuries they sustained in the crush outside a concert by Afrobeats star Asake on 15 December.

A 21-year-old woman remains in a serious condition in hospital.

The crush happened after a large number of people without tickets turned up and forced their way into the venue’s foyer.

The Met Police investigation into what happened is continuing, while Lambeth Council is undertaking a health and safety investigation.

Ahead of a decision on the site’s future, AMG applied to Lambeth Council, the licensing authority, for permission to erect new barriers to “provide safe crowd break barriers for use during concerts”.

The operator previously submitted plans for external speakers to broadcast safety messages and assist with crowd control and plans to replace fire doors, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

AMG’s application to reopen the venue is set to be considered by councillors at a two-day hearing on 11 and 12 September.

An application by the Met Police to strip AMG of its licence to operate the O2 Academy Brixton will also be heard. 

In a letter to Lambeth Council earlier this year, the Met said officers had been called to a “large-scale disorder” and arrived to find security staff “completely out of control of the situation”.

Concerns have also been raised about the strength of the doors, staffing levels and the provision of medical cover.

Councillor Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth’s cabinet member for safer communities, said: “We are determined to use the powers we have available to us to make sure the lessons of this tragedy are learned, and that we never see a traumatic incident like this again in Lambeth.”

Originally published by bbc.co.uk on 31st August 2023. SOURCE

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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