Further to a tragic incident outside the O2 Brixton Academy on 15 December 2022, a justifiable temporary closure of the venue was announced while an investigation was carried out into the circumstances surrounding it.
However the MU has now learnt that the Metropolitan Police have recommended that this closure be permanent.
MU calls for solution
MU London Regional Organiser Jamie Pullman has now written to members of the Lambeth Council Licensing Sub-Committee, calling for the venue’s re-opening. In the letter, he states that a permanent closure of the venue would be not only an unnecessary reaction, but a huge blow to the music scene in London and beyond.
The O2 Academy Brixton has put on over 650 shows since 2017 and hosted nearly 2.5 million people at these events. This is a testament to the importance of the venue to musicians and the public alike. Without venues of this size, it is almost impossible for bands to begin to make money from their music, and for a venue with the long and storied history of the Academy to close, would be a blow to musicians around the country.
The MU urges the committee to encourage the Academy Music Group and the Metropolitan Police to work together to find a solution that is acceptable, for the benefit of musicians, the public, and the economy of the area.
We need all parties to work to find a solution that will mean the venue can reopen
Jamie Pullman says: “It seems impossible to believe that there is no solution to the potential for future problems at the Brixton Academy. It has been a hugely successful and important venue for bands for decades, and for the police to claim there is no way for it to operate safely is extraordinary. We need all parties to work to find a solution that will mean the venue can reopen, and musicians and the public can enjoy music there again soon”.
Kelly Wood, MU National Organiser for Live, Theatre and Music Writers agreed, adding: “There is a clear opportunity for Lambeth Council to work with the Academy Music Group in order to ensure that the relevant measures are taken in order that the venue can operate safely going forward. If the venue is forced to permanently close, it will be a huge loss to the UK’s touring circuit and the local community.”