London’s Metropolitan Police have called for the Brixton Academy to have its licence permanently revoked following last year’s fatal crowd crush. But the venue’s operator, the Live Nation allied Academy Music Group, says it has provided proposals that would “enable the venue to reopen safely”.
Two people died as a result of the crowd crush incident, which happened during a sell out show by Asake on 15 Dec last year. The local authority that regulates the venue, Lambeth Council, initially suspended its licence for a month, and then subsequently another three months through to mid-April. On both occasions, AMG had already announced that the venue would remain closed for those time periods before the licence suspensions were confirmed.
The Metropolitan Police’s investigation into what caused the crowd crush is ongoing. There have been allegations that some security staff were involved in a ticketing scam that allowed people with fake tickets to enter the venue, increasing the number of people in the building. Some have also claimed that the venue was understaffed on 15 Dec given the scale of the Asake show.
Earlier this month Lambeth Council announced that it had instigated its own health and safety investigation into the crowd crush incident, adding that it was also “reviewing licensable activities at the venue”.
It has now emerged that the Metropolitan Police is seeking a review of Brixton Academy’s licence by Lambeth Council, with the police force supporting revocation. It reportedly says in a submission to the local authority that it has “lost confidence in the premises licence holder”.
A spokesperson confirmed to reporters yesterday: “On 14 Apr, the Met Police submitted an application for a review of 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”.
Responding, AMG said in a statement that it has presented detailed proposals to both police and council officials setting out how it would re-open the venue and deal with any safety concerns raised by last year’s incident.
A spokesperson for the venue operator said that the company had “co-operated fully with the Metropolitan Police and Lambeth Council since the tragedy at Brixton occurred. We have had regular meetings and discussions with the Metropolitan Police and Lambeth Council at which we have presented detailed proposals that we believe will enable the venue to re-open safely”.
“AMG has been awaiting feedback on those proposals for several weeks”, they then added, “and looks forward to hearing from the police as soon as possible in constructive terms”.
The Metropolitan Police’s request for a review and revocation of licence will now be subject to a consultation before a decision is made by Lambeth Council’s licensing sub-committee.