More than 10,000 fans respond to campaign to save Brixton Academy from closure

More than 10,000 fans respond to campaign to save Brixton Academy from closure

A campaign to save Brixton Academy has prompted 10,000 written representations to Lambeth Council, according to the NTIA.

The NTIA (Night Time Industries Association) is working with Save Our Scene and Brixton BID on a campaign to reopen Brixton Academy.

Each of the written representations will go towards the licensing review hearing at a later date. The submissions are in addition to the 100,000 signatories of a Brixton Academy petition.

The historic venue, operated by Academy Music Group, has been closed since December following a crush during a gig by Asake that claimed the lives of two people and left others injured.

Lambeth Council suspended the venue’s licence in December. The Met Police recently urged the council to revoke the licence permanently based on safety concerns.

London Ambulance Service treated 10 patients at the scene, of which eight required hospital transfer. In March, the Met said a 21-year-old woman was still being treated in hospital.

In its submission last month, the Met police said it had "lost confidence in the premises licence holder".

However, the NTIA has called on fans to support the campaign to reopen Brixton Academy. 

“The academy attracts over 650,000 people to the UK and London, and over 150 shows a year, this historic venue has cemented itself as one of the most culturally significant performance spaces in the UK,” said a statement.

Since opening four decades ago, it has hosted performances from acts including Madonna, Harry Styles, Stone Roses, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Little Simz, Arctic Monkeys, Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Burnaboy, LCD Soundsystem, Rihanna, Sonic Youth, The Ramones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

The Prodigy, who have played multiple shows at the venue, have come out in support of the campaign.

“Without this venue in London, we would see a huge void in our cultural economy, a considerable gap in touring capability, loss of jobs and one less platform for headline domestic and international artists to perform, losing out to our international counterparts,” added the NTIA statement.

“For decades the Brixton Academy under Academy Music Group management has been a safe and inclusive space for people to enjoy a wide range of cultural activities, from awards, live and recorded music, comedy to corporate events and filming. The venue has a considerable workforce and is one of the key employers of young people within the area, supporting a wide range of businesses and freelancers within the local community and across the UK, making a huge contribution to the local and national economy.

“We cannot lose sight of the tragic incident that occurred in December, but would respectfully ask that the authorities consider working with AMG and the venue to learn from what has happened and enhance the licence and safety measures to ensure that this never happens again.”

Michael Kill, CEO NTIA, said: “The Brixton Academy is a huge part of the cultural economy within London and the UK, and is without doubt one of the landmark performance spaces in the world. It is responsible for shaping and nurturing artists’ careers past and present.

“The loss of this venue would be catastrophic for the industry, so would urge all involved to step forward and engage in productive and meaningful discussions, with an aim to resolve the current challenges and present a unified position on delivering the safe and effective management of this space in the future.”

Gianluca Rizzo, MD, Brixton BID, added: “Brixton Academy is one of the most iconic music venues in the UK and beyond. Whilst artists dream about performing in Brixton, our business community is proud to be home of such a venue. Not only is it one of our key cultural destinations, the Brixton Academy contributes positively to the local economy as well as opportunities for our community. We stand by the Brixton Academy.”

George Fleming, CEO, Save Our Scene, said: “Our worry is that if the council and government continues to undermine culture and close down venues, we could see the industry move further underground where there is not the same level of regulation or safety. All they have to do is look at what happened in the ’90s.

‘In this case, we are urging Lambeth Council to work with Brixton Academy on finding a constructive way to keep this sacred space open and safe for people to enjoy. It’s far too important for the local economy and our culture to close down and would set a precedent, which our sector can not afford.”


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