O2 Academy Brixton is facing a review of its license after a crowd crush at an Asake gig last week left two people dead and one person critically injured. 23-year-old security contractor Gabrielle Hutchinson and 33-year-old mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo both lost their lives as a result of their injuries when a crowd forced their way into the show by the Nigerian Afrobeats artist. The incident led to mass overcrowding and the show being cancelled halfway through.
The Metropolitan Police has applied to have the venue’s license temporarily suspended due to “serious crime and disorder” during the gig and a criminal investigation has been launched, which includes a review of the venue license. Today, Lambeth Council will review the venue’s capacity, alcohol sales, stewarding and decide whether to suspend the O2 Academy’s license.
In an open letter, Lambeth Councillors said, “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson who lost their lives, as well as with those who remain in hospital and those suffering the trauma of witnessing such distressing scenes at one of our borough’s live music venues.” The council added that it will undertake an “urgent, in-depth review” of the venue’s license, covering the legal conditions it must meet to run, including its public safety arrangements.
As part of their investigation, the police have also set up an online portal for people to submit information, images or footage of the incident. It is thought that 4,000 witnesses were present at the time of the incident. The incident has also been referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which is assessing footage. Asake has expressed grief over the incident, saying, “I am overwhelmed with grief and could never have imagined anything like this happening.”