A petition has been launched to save London's iconic Brixton Academy venue following the Met Police's call for it to close permanently. In December, a crowd crush that took place at the Academy during a concert held by Afrobeats singer Asake resulted in two deaths and a hospitalisation, causing the venue to be closed indefinitely and all planned gigs to be cancelled or rescheduled elsewhere.
Following investigations, a spokesperson for the Met has since confirmed to the BBC that they have "submitted an application for a review of premises licence to Lambeth Council and will be seeking a revocation of the licence", adding that the matter "will be decided at a future council sub-committee hearing on a date to be confirmed.”
The petition to save the venue, started by music fan Stuart O' Brien, has already amassed almost 12,000 signatures at time of going to press, with that number rapidly rising.
"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," the petition reads. "What happened there was a tragedy, but caused by people. People without tickets, security taking back handers etc. Revoke the security firm's license and bring in someone adequate recommended by the police (security having been alleged to take back-handers to allow people into gigs, surely lies at the heart of those without tickets attending). 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.
"I personally have been to hundreds of gigs in my lifetime," O' Brien adds, "many of them here and I have never once felt like safety was an issue! The loss of this venue would also have a devastating affect on the local economy!"
The "back-handers" O'Brien mentions is referring to a whistleblower alleging that some security staff at Brixton Academy had been taking bribes to let gig-goers into shows without tickets.
You can view the petition at Change.org.