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Brixton Academy to host test events ahead of reopening

It was revealed last week that the venue could open its doors again if "robust" new measures were taken.

By Will Richards

General view of the closed Brixton Academy (Picture: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Brixton Academy is set to reopen with a series of test events, after it was given the green light to open again after a recent hearing.

The legendary venue has been closed since December of last year, when security worker Gabrielle Hutchinson and mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo were killed in a deadly crush at an Asake concert. A third person, who was seriously injured, remains in hospital. In January, Lambeth Council suspended the venue’s license for three months, whilst investigations into the cause of the crush continued. In April, the Metropolitan Police applied to have the license permanently revoked.

Last week, a two-day hearing into the venue’s future took place, with Lambeth Council then announcing that the venue could reopen if a series of “robust” new safety rules are met.

Now, it has been announced that the venue will host a series of test events ahead of its reopening, with a timeline for the eventual full reopening of the venue to arrive shortly.

A police cordon outside the O2 Academy Brixton following the incident at an Asake gig (Picture: Alamy)

Venue operator AMG said in a statement: “Over the past nine months the venue’s importance to the local community and the live music scene in the UK has been made clear through first-hand professional testimony, campaigns, and petitions as well as economic assessments demonstrating the financial impact to the surrounding area caused by the closure.

“Academy Music Group is determined to learn all appropriate lessons from the night of December 15, 2022. Working at a senior level with experts across all disciplines, AMG presented a comprehensive, multi-faceted response for the licensing authorities to support their case for the safe and secure reopening of the venue.”

AMG added: “We appreciate having had the opportunity to present these detailed proposals and revised licence conditions at the hearing and we are very grateful they met with the approval of the Licensing Sub-Committee.”

The Metropolitan Police, who said in the hearing that they would rather the venue open under new management, said in a statement that they will “work with the applicant and Lambeth Council to ensure the public can once again enjoy events at the Academy – but in an environment where their safety is paramount”.