O2 Academy Brixton reopening petition hits 50,000 signatures

O2 Academy Brixton

Dr Neil CliftonCC BY-SA 2.0/ Edited for size

A petition to save the O2 Academy Brixton from permanent closure has reached 50,000 signatures.

Musicians including The Chemical Brothers and Blur’s Graham Coxon are among those to have added their names to the list calling for the venue to be reopened after its licence was suspended in January following the death of two people in a crush ahead of an Asake gig.

The “Save Brixton Academy” petition to Lambeth Council has gained pace since the Met Police said in April it was seeking for the licence to be revoked permanently despite venue operator Academy Music Group (AMG) claiming its proposals could “enable the venue to reopen safely”.

The petition, created by Stuart O’Brien, said the venue’s closure would have a “devastating” effect on the local economy.

“Brixton Academy is an iconic London music venue and should this cease to be so, another part of the musical landscape and history is lost forever,” the petition organiser said.

“What happened there was a tragedy, but caused by people. Revoke the security firm’s licence and bring in someone adequate recommended by the police… Bring in new security procedures including crowd control to ensure a repeat doesn’t happen.

“But let’s not turn this venue into soulless flats as would more than likely happen in the event of permanent closure.”

The licence was suspended for three months in January following the deaths of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson following a crush outside the venue before the gig on December 15. London Ambulance Service treated 10 patients at the scene, eight of whom were transferred to hospital.

Concerns were subsequently raised over the strength of the venue’s doors and staffing levels, including whether there was enough medical cover.

The Met recently said in a statement: “On 14 April, the Met police submitted an application for a review of [the] premises licence to Lambeth Council and will be seeking a revocation of the licence.

“This matter will be decided at a future council sub-committee hearing on a date to be confirmed.”

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