In My View: Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall

The Brixton Academy is one of South London’s most popular music venues.

Now that it looks set to reopen after an overhaul, we must recognise the gravity of last year’s tragedy.

Following the fatal crush during a concert on December 15, 2022, Lambeth council’s licensing sub-committee concluded that Academy Music Group (AMG) will have its licence to run the Brixton Academy reinstated.

This will be with new conditions to improve the safety of the venue.

The terrible events have left a profound mark on the area, and I recognise that the trauma is ongoing for many who were there.

My primary concern remains ensuring that such an incident can never happen again.

But the council’s remit in this hearing wasn’t to assign blame or come to a judgement on past failings that contributed to December’s tragedy.

This decision does not exonerate them either – those questions are being considered as part of the police’s ongoing criminal investigation.

After lengthy representations from all relevant parties, the committee determined that AMG’s licence could be reissued, with 77 new conditions attached.

The police have accepted the verdict and are committed to working with all parties to keep future events safe.

Notable changes to AMG’s licence include enhanced ticket checks, phased queuing systems, reinforced doors and an overhaul of venue management.

The conditions are designed to address both structural and procedural flaws, and I welcome any measures which make the Academy a safe place to visit.

The full list is available on Lambeth council’s website, along with an explanatory As both the MP for Vauxhall and a long-time Brixton resident who has been to many gigs at the Academy, I know the fondness in which it is held as a music venue by people from all over the country.

Now that the decision has been made, it is up to AMG to restore trust with the community and demonstrate their commitment to prioritising safety at all future events.


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