Identify mosh pit and possible dangers. There are many genres of music that produce mosh pits, however; there are three basic styles of mosh pits, each with its own dynamic and therefore dangers.
Hard Core Mosh Pit:
Music: Loud, angry and screaming.
Consists of large skin heads with forearms the size of an average persons neck,
windmillsï¿½the act of spinning ones arms violently while running in circles to create maximum damage; and lots of raspy screaming voices, large men slamming into one another and thrashing.
Punk Mosh Pit:
Music: Fast drum beat accompanied by rebellious and/or politically charged
lyrics. Lots of crowd sing-a-longs.
Consists of many spiked and pierced individuals, plenty of arm and leg thrashing as well as synchronized jumping and finger pointing (especially middle fingers and ‘rock on’ [first and pinky fingers]).
Ska Mosh Pit:
Music: Reggae or punk beat with a horn section peppered with plenty of ‘yeahs’
‘heys’ and ‘ois’.
Consists of skankingï¿½the act of lifting ones knees and kicking out ones legs
while thrashing arms and body to the beat; spinning, jumping and general
pushing also included.
Remember general mosh pit rules. These include: never let your hands get pinioned to your sides, keep your elbows out to fend off unwanted roughness, as well as to propel yourself forward through the crowd; secure a spot for your feet to prevent falling over, steer clear of anyone without a shirt on (sweaty skin heads are just no fun), and remember that shoving is always an option. Never at any rough point should you stick your tongue out, you are liable to bite it off, and never crouch or bend down, you might not come back up.
Courtesy might seem like a foreign concept in such an environment, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Moshers have a deep and unspoken respect for one another. So logically, if you are entering a mosh pit, remember your manners, that is: don’t be the asshole who gets rough in a ‘calm’ area, if people wanted to get pushed around they would move to a circle or ‘rough’ area; if someone falls clear a small area for them and help them up, getting trampled is no fun; if you decide you don’t like the band that is playing leave the pit, don’t shout obnoxious comments or attempt to beat up the fans, that’s just rude. First and foremost, always sing if you know the lyrics, get rough and have fun!
Be prepared for mosh pit phenomena. Phenomena can be defined as the events that occur uniquely within a mosh pit, or specific mosh pit style. Any and all phenomena can occur in any pit, so always be aware. The following are some common phenomena in their indigenous styles of mosh pits.
Flying Elbows! Those skanking around you will most probably be throwing their elbows back in your direction, make sure to steer clear and never stand behind a person more than five inches taller than you or you could leave the pit with a broken nose.
Spinners. If you’re standing on the edge of a circle beware of people who grab hands and spin. Eventually you’ll either get pummeled by a fly-by spinner or wind up as a catcher when the two finally let go.
Wall of Death. If you are participating in this event, remember to keep your arms up and keep up with the charging crowd and pray you don’t get trampled!
Circle Pit. A circle pit is one of the most adrenaline inducing mosh activities, while engaged in a mash of people running in a frantic circle while thrashing arms and legs and creating general havoc remember these simple rules: keep moving, when you need to exit move towards the edge and thrash your way out and remember to keep your arms up.
Hard Core Pit:
Crush! This is not an activity for the claustrophobic, if you are inclined to close contact paranoia and notice a crush coming on, leave! If you get caught in a crush of people above all else, stay on your feet. Try to flow in the direction of the crowd. Do not panic if you are lifted off the ground, step on peoples legs if you must until the crowd thins. Be aware of your surroundings, this is possibly one of the most dangerous moshes.
Crowd Surfers. If a crowd surfer is over head help with the support and shove forward with all your strength. If you intend to participate do not ask the six foot eight inch, 250 pound man who as just lifted twelve people to lift you; that’s just rude. Try not to flail, remember that you surf at your own risk and have a very good chance of falling.
Be prepared, not stressed. A good mosher is aware, but not paranoid. As with any endeavor, practice makes perfect, so get out there and mosh as much as possible! Go to as many shows as you can, look for new experiences and try out a different scene every once in a while. Even the most dedicated punk rocker should go and experience the hard core scene, at least once or twice. Remember that moshing isn’t about disgruntled youth just being rebellious (although that’s part of it), it demands a respect for others and a dedication to music and the culture that music creates. So be open minded, look for new opportunities; have your pop culture friends come to a hard core show, and make your punk rocker buddies experience the thrill of a ska pit. Moshing was designed to bring people closer (not just physically), release pent up emotions and celebrate the inspiration that the music awakens in each person. Get out there and create some chaos!
Warning: Author is not in any way responsible for any injuries and/or emotional scarring due to the moshing activities listed. The aforementioned description and advice is the result of the author’s personal moshing experience and is subject to interpretation and change.