Home Music Mosh-pit etiquette: stay upright and not uptight

Mosh-pit etiquette: stay upright and not uptight

by Andrej Ivanov February 9, 2015
Mosh-pit etiquette: stay upright and not uptight

Bustling concerts are good way to let off steam set to your favourite music, but be sure to be mindful of others

You walk into Metropolis, Les Katacombes, Foufounes Électriques, or your favorite music bar. The air is hot, the smell of stale beer somehow permanently lingers, and the loud metal music is blaring. You run to the front and, quickly, you find yourself facing a crowd of people pushing and shoving each other. Welcome to the mosh-pit.

We welcome all kinds in the mosh-pit. You may stand on the outskirts, just pushing people away. You may also be in the fray, getting shoved, shoving back, running around and getting sweaty. We even welcome people from above: the crowd-surfers and the stage divers. Never fear, we are all here because we have some extra energy to expend by giving it to our favourite bands. It goes without saying, though, that what may seem chaotic, to an outsider looking in, is a controlled chaos that some of us have been a part of for many years now. And to every dance, there are unwritten rules that we all abide by.

In the voice of Tyler Durden, the first rule of the mosh-pit is: you are here to have fun. The second rule of the mosh-pit is: you are here to have fun! The point of a mosh-pit is to provide a (relatively) safe space to proactively release your excess energy, pent-up angst and anger. But remember, you have to be mindful of others. It’s okay to push; it’s okay to shove; you will fall, you will knock someone down, and all of that is just fine. But please, be careful not to hit someone in the face by accident, and be mindful if someone falls.

When someone falls, be it a stage diver, a crowd surfer, or a mosher, people are very quick to react, to pick them up and check if they are okay. If the person is in good spirits and unharmed, it would be a faux-pas not to oblige them by shoving them back into the pit from whence they came.

For those standing in the crowds, keep an eye on your surroundings as well, as crowd surfers will sometimes fly overhead. If that does happen, catch them, keep the wave going and always remember that it could be you up there. To the crowd surfers, be aware of the shoes you wear. Big boots, heavy chains, spikes, or anything else that could somehow hurt someone should be left with friends while you surf, dive or mosh.

At some shows, you will see stage divers. They will literally jump off the stage into the crowd. This is where it gets dangerous, and comes with a “dive at your own risk” warning label, because people may not catch you, and it is very easy to hit someone inadvertently.

More importantly, remember that gender stereotypes are left at the door. Everyone is equal and everyone is there to have fun. Still be mindful that when someone crowd surfs, avoid groping. That is harassment.

Finally, what makes moshing dangerous for everyone is when people start doing the ninja dance by flailing their limbs around everywhere. That’s simply unacceptable. Somebody is bound to get hurt.

At the end of the night, if you walk away sweaty, smelly and disgusting, with the feeling that you had the time of your life, then the mosh-pit has served its purpose.

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