Asake Pays Tribute To Brixton Academy Crowd Crush Victims During O2 Arena Show

The Brixton O2 Academy crowd crush at Asake’s concert last year was devastating to say the least. Asake began his O2 Arena show with a three-minute tribute video.

  • written by Joy Onu
  • 2 min read
  • 21 Aug, 2023

Asake’s O2 Arena show started off with the artist paying tribute to the two fans who were killed last year in Brixton. The tragic event happened at his last show in London’s O2 Academy, two fans lost their lives - Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson, in a ghastly crowd surge at the venue that simply shouldn’t have happened.

The O2 Arena show is Asake’s first show in the UK since the Brixton crush, while his tribute was memorable to some, Rebecca Ikumelo’s sister Rachel didn’t share those same sentiments, and with good reason. The victim’s sister shared a tweet voicing her displeasure with the singer’s tribute, she tweeted: “What a sorry excuse of a “tribute” from Asakemusik. My sister lost her life at your show and you haven’t spoken to a single member of my family since. But you can hold another concert in London less than 9 months later and play her videos as a 'tribute'?  RIP Rebecca Ikumelo."

Asake posted a statement on Instagram at the time of the death, expressing his condolences and alleging that he had spoken to the family. However, Rachel’s tweets suggest that reverse might be the case and there’s been no further contact since his initial message.

While Asake’s tribute was touching, we will be remiss to not sympathize with the family of the victims. Asake’s tribute to the victims of the Brixton O2 Academy crowd crush kicked off the O2 Arena show, the three minute tribute began with backup performers dressed in white as they walked into view.

The Nigerian artist was dressed in white, holding flowers as Aina More delivered the three minute spoken word piece, the poem was recited alongside the sound of piano music. Playing on the screen was news coverage of the crush, visuals of flowers laid by Brixton Academy, and social media videos of the deceased.

The recording performed and written by Aina More started off saying, “We cannot forget what happened at Brixton.” 

“Some came out that night and ain’t returned, we need to hold this moment. I need to hold this moment. They need to hold this moment.”. She said, the poem went on to say “Up at 2:30 thinking Gaby Hutchinson could be me” 

“Rest well and be free, rest in peace Rebecca, our sister.” 

The Met police investigation is still ongoing, and the Brixton venue has been closed ever since. Police officers are still appealing that witnesses come forward with information that could help the investigation.

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