O2 Brixton Academy to Reopen with Tribute Acts After Deadly Crush

O2 Brixton Academy to Reopen with Tribute Acts After Deadly Crush

More than a year after a deadly crush that claimed the lives of two individuals, including a security guard, the iconic O2 Brixton Academy is set to reopen its doors, with tribute acts taking the stage for the inaugural shows.

In a move to reignite the venue’s musical spirit, the Academy has announced that the first performances will feature Nirvana UK, a tribute act to the legendary 1990s grunge band, and The Smyths, a tribute to Morrissey’s band, on April 19. Following this, on April 26, the stage will be graced by Definitely Might be, an Oasis tribute act, and UK Foo Fighters, paying homage to Dave Grohl’s iconic band.

The reopening comes after a comprehensive review of safety measures and operational policies, as the Academy Music Group (AMG), the venue’s owner, has implemented stringent changes to prevent a repeat of the tragic events that unfolded on December 15, 2022. These include the installation of stronger doors, improved queuing systems, and more secure ticketing procedures, developed by leading industry professionals.

“The safety and well-being of our patrons and staff remain our utmost priority,” said John Northcote, CEO of AMG. “We have taken significant steps to ensure that the O2 Brixton Academy meets the highest standards of security and crowd management, allowing music lovers to once again experience the magic of live performances in a safe and secure environment.”

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The venue has invested £1.2 million in maintenance and improvements throughout 2023, despite remaining closed, underscoring its commitment to revitalizing the iconic space.

The reopening comes in the wake of a police probe and an inquiry by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) into alleged corruption within the security staff at the venue. Allegations surfaced that some security personnel accepted bribes to allow unauthorized entry, contributing to the overcrowding that led to the fatal crush.

Families of the victims, Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson, have expressed their determination to seek justice and prevent such tragedies from occurring again. Kelsey Hutchinson, Gaby’s sister, emphasized the importance of ongoing investigations and urged individuals with information to come forward.

As the O2 Brixton Academy prepares to reopen its doors, the music community and authorities alike remain committed to ensuring that the lessons learned from this tragedy are never forgotten, and that the safety and well-being of concertgoers remain the top priority.

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