London Police Want New Operators For Brixton Academy, Venue’s Fate To Be Decided In Coming Days

After being shuttered for almost a year, London’s Metropolitan Police called for a new operator to take over Brixton Academy if it is to reopen, despite the venue gaining support from the Lambeth Council “in principle.”

Brixton Academy has been closed since December 2022, losing its license after a fatal crowd crush took the lives of two individuals during a concert by Nigerian artist Asake. One woman who was injured in the crush remains in the hospital in critical condition.

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police said they did not have confidence in current venue operator Academy Music Group (AMG) even though AMG has spent £1.2 million to develop new safety measures, including stronger doors, an improved entry system and more secure ticketing.

In a closing argument, Gerald Gouriet, a legal representative for the police, said, “I’ve read again and again in the press and on social media that the police are trying to shut down the Academy permanently. That is simply not the case.”

He continued, “They believe AMG shouldn’t be the licensee. I’m not permitted to go further into the reasons.”

Since the venue’s closing, the Save Brixton Academy campaign has collected over 116,000 signatures on a petition to reopen the historic location. 

AMG’s legal representative Philip Kolvin told the committee, “My client is probably the leading host of music of Black origin in this country. That’s a position that it values and would like to continue to be.”

Lambeth Council, which oversees the Lambeth borough of London in which the Brixton Academy resides, announced that the decision on the venue’s future will be made “within five working days.”

Featured image from O2 Academy Brixton.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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