Brixton Academy Crowd Crush: New Call for Witnesses

Tragedy Strikes at Asake Show in Brixton Academy

On the first anniversary of the fatal crowd crush that occurred during an Asake show at London’s Brixton Academy, the families of the two people who died have urged any witnesses to the tragedy who are yet to speak to police to come forward. They are also calling for Asake to make a similar appeal for information about the incident, noting that while the musician has paid tribute to the victims, he has not yet issued any formal call for witnesses.

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Families Seek Justice and Answers

Kelsey Hutchinson, sister of Gaby Hutchinson, a security guard who died while working at the show, emphasized the significance of Asake’s influence over his crowd and followers. She stated, “The singer has such a big influence over his crowd and his followers, and I think the biggest way anyone could help the police is if the singer asked them to come forward with what they heard that night, what they recorded, anything will help, and the singer’s got the most power in this situation”.

Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Kenny from London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that, even though it has been a year since the incident, more information from witnesses is crucial. “We’re still going through thousands of documents to ascertain how this happened”, he told the BBC, “but we still need help from [people who] were there. Even though it’s twelve months, we still need people to come forward”.

Events Leading to the Tragedy

The crowd crush occurred during the final show of a three-night run for Asake at the South London venue. The building was at capacity as the show began, but there were still crowds of people outside trying to get in. It’s been alleged that a sizeable number of the people inside the venue did not have valid tickets, meaning many of those left outside were genuine ticket-holders.

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Brixton Academy has been closed ever since the incident, and the Metropolitan Police recommended to local authority Lambeth Council that the building’s current operator, Live Nation’s Academy Music Group, should have its license revoked. However, in September, the council’s licensing committee said that the venue could re-open under AMG’s management providing 77 conditions were met to boost safety in the building.

Appeal for Witnesses Continues

Rebecca Ikumelo, another victim of the tragedy, prompts her father, Anthony Ikumelo to call for more witnesses to come forward. He expressed that there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Police need as much information as possible, he noted, to ensure lessons are learned. “The most important thing”, he said, “is we don’t want this to happen to another family”.

Promise of Enhanced Safety Measures

In a new statement, AMG acknowledged the devastating events of 15 Dec 2022, offering heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson. The company emphasized its determination to learn the appropriate lessons to ensure the incident can never be repeated, citing its “comprehensive plan” for re-opening the venue safely. As for when that re-opening will actually happen, AMG concluded: “There will be an announcement for the reopening timeline in due course”.

While the investigation and the push for more witnesses continue, the hope for closure and justice for the victims and their families remains strong.

For more information on Brixton Academy and upcoming events, visit the official Academy Music Group website.

Stay updated on the latest news and developments about the tragedy by visiting Metropolitan Police’s official website.

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As the community seeks answers and justice, the call for witnesses and the drive to prevent such tragedies from occurring again is paramount. The support and cooperation of the public and stakeholders involved will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of all concert-goers in the future.

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