A police investigation has revealed that security guards at Brixton Academy, the south London venue for Nigerian singer Asake’s concert, where two people died in a stampede, allegedly took bribes to let people in without tickets.
A security guard who worked on the night of the incident told police that the act had been going on since 2009 and that some of his colleagues had made £1,000 in bribes from people who came to concerts without tickets. He also accused the venue’s security firm of knowing about the illegal transactions.
“There were people taking money… Some staff made £1,000 cash,” a guard, who is employed by AP Security, told the BBC. “Our company knew what was going on and they knew the people who were doing it, and they did nothing about it,” he said.
The whistleblower guard, who went by the pseudonym Rohan, also stated that on the night of the fatal accident, there were only 110 security guards on duty, when there should have been 190.
He described the stampede which took place at Asake’s concert “like being in a car crash that’s been really awful – being crashed on and stamped on”. When a few people bribe their way in, Rohan alleged that things get “out of hand,” because word of the breach spreads and more people try their luck.
“When you let a few people in, they would text their friends, and they’ll text their friends.
“And the bouncers started being greedy, and it got out of hand. And people wanted to come I anyway, without a ticket. You can train someone to the max, but when that happens in front of you, you actually stop… you freeze.”
Rohan claimed that bribes were discussed in staff meetings, but AP Security managers did not reprimand guards accused of allowing ticketless people in.
He also revealed that bribing guards for tickets was not limited to Brixton Academy, but occurred at a number of other venues.
A police chief told the BBC that a week before Asake’s concert, guards allowed people without tickets to enter a different event held at the same Brixton academy.
Watch the interview below;