Brixton Academy to reopen for first time since fatal crush

The Brixton Academy is due to reopen for the first time since a crush which killed two people in December 2022.

The south London venue’s licence was suspended after a gig by Afro-pop singer Asake, when a large number of people tried to enter the foyer.

Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were killed. Another woman is in a serious condition in hospital.

The Metropolitan Police says it remains “focused on establishing exactly what happened that tragic evening”.

The first performers at the reopened venue will be Nirvana UK, a Nirvana tribute band, and The Smyths, who perform tracks by The Smiths.

Met Police Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson

Rebecca Ikumelo, left, and Gaby Hutchinson were injured in the crush and died in hospital

Lambeth council suspended the Brixton O2 Academy’s licence on 22 December 2022, one week after the crush.

The victims’ families previously paid tribute to nursing graduate Rebecca Ikumelo, from Newham in east London, and security dog-handler Gaby Hutchinson, from Gravesend in Kent.

Rebecca’s mother called her daughter “an amazing mother” while her aunt, Mary Ikumelo, said she was “such a beautiful individual, not only on the outside but also inside”.

Gaby’s sister Nina described her sibling as “a great soul” and “one of a kind”.

Gaby’s mother said the 23-year-old “would make a really big impression on you, hopefully a good one”.

Police have released images of 13 people they believe have vital information about what happened.

Det Ch Insp Penney, the senior investigating officer, said: “We remain focused on establishing exactly what happened that tragic evening, how Rebecca and Gaby came to lose their lives and why a young woman remains in hospital in a very serious condition a year later.

“I am grateful to those who have already helped by either speaking to police, sharing footage or providing us with valuable advice in terms of our investigation and the impact of this tragic event on people in Lambeth and beyond.

“We owe it to the families who have been left heartbroken and with many unanswered questions to establish the truth about what happened to their loved ones, and continue to follow the evidence where it takes us – without fear or favour.”

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