On Tuesday (December 20), the Metropolitan Police submitted an application for a “Summary Licence Review”, after reviewing the venue's license today the Lambeth Council's Licensing sub-committee took the decision today to close the venue.
The temporary closure will remain in place until at least January 16, Music Week reports, meaning a number of upcoming events - including New Year's Eve shows - have been cancelled.
It follows the tragic death of 23-year-old Gaby Hutchinson, a security guard at the venue, who passed away in hospital on Monday night from injuries sustained during the crush at Afrobeats musician Asake’s gig, which was called off during his performance.
She was the second victim to die after the incident, following 33-year-old mother of two Rebecca Ikumelo's death on Saturday. A third person remains in a critical condition in hospital.
In a report on the licensing decision from Lambeth Council's Licensing sub-committee, it's revealed that "the build-up to the incident had lasted about an hour." With police arriving to find that security "were unable to control the crowds at the entrance doors, some of whom were trying to force entry to the concert."
The report details that the police requested the review due to concerns that a lack of crowd control at the venue "was not unique" to December 15 — and that, according to a witness, a similar incident had reportedly occurred on February 2 2020.
The report also states that O2 Brixton Academy had already taken the decision to "voluntarily remain closed" until January 16 — but council members felt that a "formal suspension" was required given the severity of the incident.
Lambeth Council cabinet member Mahamed Hashi said: “A tragic incident has happened in our borough and we are dealing with its devastating impact on our communities. Our thoughts are with those who have suffered, especially the families and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson who have tragically lost their lives.“I wish to thank my colleagues on the sub-committee for their careful and rigorous work in looking at this issue at this first stage of the process. We will now continue with our work to reassure our communities about safety at the venue, get the answers needed about how this happened and support the Met police investigations into these tragic events.”
There is also a separate criminal investigation being undertaken by the Met Police. Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told the BBC that they were trying to determine “if there are any criminal liabilities involved.”
For anyone with any information or evidence, an online page has been set up for anyone to submit to the Metropolitan Police. Click here to visit the website.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter