Council says O2 Brixton Academy can Reopen once Conditions are met

The O2 Academy Brixton in south London will be allowed to reopen once it has met 77 “extensive and robust” conditions designed to promote public safety, Lambeth Council has said.

The venue’s licence was suspended last December after two people were killed when fans without tickets tried to force their way in.

The council held a two-day licensing hearing to decide whether the academy should be allowed to host events again.

The venue’s owner has not yet announced a timeline for reopening.

The 77 conditions that the venue must meet include stronger doors, new crowd management systems, more detailed risk assessments, a new ticketing system, a centralised control and command centre, and new security and management measures.

Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, said the measures had been “proposed by (owners) AMG (Academy Music Group) at the hearing to support their aim of regaining the venue’s licence so it can reopen, and making sure we never see a tragedy again like the one there in December 2022”.

He added that the local authority would continue to support the ongoing police investigation into the incident.

In a statement, AMG said it was “immensely grateful” to Lambeth Council for its decision and that the academy would reopen with a series of test events.

The Met Police said it would work with AMG and the council to ensure “safety is paramount”.

Supt Gabriel Cameron said it had always been the Met’s aim that the academy was “run by a licensee who will take all necessary steps to ensure [safety]”.

During the two-day hearing, the Met called for a different firm to run the venue.

Mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, and Gaby Hutchinson, 23, from Gravesend in Kent, who was a security contractor working at the venue, died in the crush during a gig by Afrobeats artist Asake on 15 December 2022.

A third woman remains in hospital in a critical condition.

London Ambulance Service treated 10 patients at the scene, eight of whom were transferred to hospital.

In the days and weeks after the incident, concerns were raised about the strength of the venue’s doors and staffing levels, including whether there was enough medical cover.

Amy Lamé, the mayor’s appointed nightlife czar, said she welcomed the decision to reopen the “cherished” venue.