Asake pays tribute to Brixton Academy crush victims at first UK gig since tragedy

Asake has performed his first UK live performance for the reason that deadly crush at his gig in Brixton final 12 months, and began the showcase by paying tribute to the 2 followers who have been killed.

The tragic occasion happened at his present at London’s O2 Academy Brixton final December and noticed two followers – Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson – lose their life after there was a crowd surge on the venue.

An investigation by the Metropolitan Police continues to be underneath manner and, following the incident, the South London stay music venue had its licence underneath evaluation by Lambeth Council and has remained closed since.

A 21-year-old lady additionally stays in crucial situation in hospital after being caught within the crush, and police proceed to enchantment for info.

Now, the Nigerian singer-songwriter and Afrobeats star has returned to the stage for his first stay UK present for the reason that occasion, and paid his respects to the victims.

Asake (Credit score: Press)

The returning gig happened within the metropolis’s O2 Area final night time (August 20) – a venue which has 4 occasions the capability in comparison with Brixton. Asake, whose actual title is Ahmed Ololade, arrived on stage roughly an hour and 20 minutes later than deliberate and kicked off the present with a three-minute tribute poem to Ikumelo and Hutchinson.

Backing performers wearing white walked into view, earlier than he appeared on stage, with flowers as a spoken phrase poem was recited within the background.

“Up at 02:30 thinking Gaby Hutchinson could be me,” the poem learn (through The Impartial). “Rest well and be free, rest in peace Rebecca, our sister.”

“I know some feel loss and some regret,” the poet stated. “We need to hold this moment. I need to hold this moment. They need to hold this moment.”

In accordance with the outlet, because the poem was learn, visuals have been additionally proven, containing footage from information stories on the time of the crush, in addition to social media posts from the victims. Discover it under.

On the time of the deaths, Asake shared an announcement expressing his condolences on Twitter (X).

“I am devastated by the news that Rebecca Ikumelo who was in a critical condition since Thursday has sadly passed away,” he wrote. “My sincerest condolences to her loved ones at this time. Let us please keep her family in our prayers. I have spoken to them and will continue to do so.”

On the present final night time, it was additionally reported that cops have been stationed exterior the venue, handing out flyers and inspiring witnesses from the Brixton present to return ahead.

Talking to BBC Information, a fan who had attended each Asake reveals recalled how he felt safer finally night time’s occasion because of the elevated safety. “The organisation with that gig, it wasn’t good at all,” he says. “But I see the security here is doing it properly.”

Again in June, households of the Brixton Academy crush victims had spoken out six months after the tragedy, saying that “all we want is justice”.

Brixton Academy

Police tape cordons off the O2 Academy Brixton after a crowd crush at Asake’s gig on December 15, 2022. Credit score: Dan Kitwood/Getty Photographs.

Earlier this 12 months, the Met Police claimed to have “lost confidence” within the security of Brixton Academy and made a push for the situation to shut its doorways for good.

A web-based petition was later launched to counteract the closure and varied artists and trade professionals additionally spoke out towards the potential shutting down of the venue.

The Night time Time Industries Affiliation (NTIA) then launched a marketing campaign alongside Save Our Scene and Brixton BID to maintain the venue open. The Prodigy have been amongst excessive profile acts to share their help for save Brixton Academy marketing campaign, urging the general public to do the identical.

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