The Prodigy have voiced their support for a fresh campaign to save the O2 Academy Brixton, saying that the venue is “our home”.
The dance group have highlighted a campaign that was launched on Sunday (14th May) by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) alongside Save Our Scene and Brixton BID to prevent permanent closure of the London venue after December’s tragic crowd crush.
It follows the Save Brixton Academy petition that was launched last month by Stuart O’Brien in which he argued that the “iconic” south London music venue is now at risk of being turned into “soulless flats”.
“What happened there was a tragedy, but caused by people,” the petition’s description reads. “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.”
Now, The Prodigy have backed the NTIA's new campaign and urged the public to support it too.
“Brixton Academy is our home. What happened there a few months ago was tragic & very serious lessons need to be learnt from it. It’s the venue that has been at the heart of our band, the one that we have played the most and where fans from all around the world come to see us play," the band wrote on Twitter.
“It is super important that it’s able to continue to be a place that you can go and see bands play live. If you agree please, put your full support behind them, as we do.”
The Prodigy aren't the only act to throw support behind saving the south London venue. Faithless’ Sister Bliss noted on Twitter last month the gravity of the “terrible tragedy” but said that the calls to shutter the venue are “short sighted”.
Last month the Met urged Lambeth Council to strip the south London venue’s operator, Academy Music Group (AMG), of its licence after security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and event attendee Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were killed when a crowd of people forced their way into the premises during a gig by Afrobeats star Asake on 15th December 2022.
The O2 Academy Brixton has been closed for investigations since the crowd crush, which also left a third person critically injured. In the aftermath of the event, concerns were raised over the strength of the venue’s doors, and security measures, along with the extent of medical cover available.
AMG's license was suspended initially by Lambeth Council's licensing sub-committee on 22nd December until 16th January. It was then suspended for a further three months. The Met said at the time that the closure extension would “allow time to work with the venue to facilitate a safe reopening”.
Following that three-month period, on 17th April, the Met said that it had “lost confidence” in AMG and called for Lambeth Council to revoke the licence completely.
The Met’s licence review application follows AMG submitting its own application dated 22nd March for a variation of its licence. If approved, it would allow for the venue to stay open.
A decision by Lambeth Council on whether to follow the police advice or to reopen the venue is expected to be made at a licensing meeting soon.