A petition has been launched to prevent the closure of the O2 Academy Brixton, which has been ordered to close by police in a licensing review following December’s tragic crowd crush.
Last week, the Met Police requested for permanent closure of the venue saying that it had “lost confidence” in the operator the Academy Music Group (AMG) following the deadly crush on December 15, 2022.
Stuart O’Brien, a fan of the venue who claims to have attended many gigs at the O2 Brixton Academy over the years, has launched a petition to save the venue from possible closure.
“Brixton Academy is an iconic London music venue and should this cease to be so, another part of the musical landscape and history is lost forever,” it reads.
The petition currently has more than 50,000 signatures of a hopeful 75,000 and will be put to Lambeth Council once it reaches its goal.
Speaking to Mixmag, O'Brien explained: "When I saw that there wasn’t [a petition to sign], I decided to start one myself as I knew there would be others like me who would not want to see this iconic venue lost forever."
"The loss of the O2 Academy Brixton would have a significant impact on the local economy as people travel from far and wide and millions of people have attended [the venue] over the years."
Brixton O2 Academy has remained closed since a deadly crowd crush at the venue in December, security worker Gabrielle Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33 were killed, and a third person was critically injured.
“What happened there was a tragedy, but caused by people,” O’Brien writes. “People without tickets, security taking back-handers etc.”
O’Brien suggested the venue should “revoke the security firm’s licence”, who were previously accused of taking bribes at the door to allow people into the venue by a whistleblower.
“Bring in new security procedures including crowd control to ensure a repeat doesn't happen, but let's not turn this venue into soulless flats as would more than likely happen in the event of permanent closure.”
“The loss of this venue would also have a devastating effect on the local economy,” he added. “So please, let's help keep music live and Save Brixton Academy!”
The future of O2 Academy Brixton will be decided during a council sub-committee meeting on May 15, which could determine whether the venue will keep its licence.
Find the petition here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter