Live music concerts are exciting events, especially if you can dance to the music. One popular form of dancing is the mosh pit, where dozens of fans willingly and violently throw themselves at each other until the song ends. Then they exchange high fives, hug each other, and do it again when the next song starts.
Sounds like fun, right? It really is. When I wrote for local music magazines, I would occasionally jump into the mosh pit for research purposes, of course. If you’ve never gone into a mosh pit but have seen them in action, I recommend you give it a try- after you observe some unwritten mosh pit rules and take some mosh pit precautions.
Mosh pit protection. First, accept the fact that if you are going to participate in a mosh pit, you are going to get hurt, plain and simple. How bad you get hurt depends on how much protection you have. One way people get hurt in a mosh pit is from that errant high elbow that seems to knock a few teeth . A mouthpiece is a great tooth saver for a mosh pit.
Don’t forget about basic medical supplies handy such as bandages, a little bit of gauze and perhaps some alcohol wipes to take care of some scrapes. You can put these in a pocket for a quick fix until you can properly clean them.
Stretch and hydrate. If you were playing tackle football with pads on, your coach would tell you to stretch so you can prevent injuries or severe soreness after the game. The same should go for moshing in a mosh pit since you will have no pads and you’ll most likely be crashing into more than 11 people. Drink a lot of water before you mosh. Don’t worry: you won’t have time to use the bathroom and you’ll likely burn it all up before the second song is over.
Survey the mosh crowd. Take a look at who’s in the crowd before you dive in. Some moshers are there to have fun while other moshers are solely there to inflict pain. If you see a mosher wearing spiked bracelets or is throwing punches towards the head versus a healthy shove, that’s not the guy you want to run into. If there are sworn enemies in the mosh pit crowd, moshing becomes an act of aggression and not an act of bonding, as strange as that may sound.
Another ironic twist to a mosh pit is that the more people there are, the safer it can be. When a large crowd is moshing, no one gets a running start.
Push moshing etiquette. Push moshing is arguably the safest form of moshing in a mosh pit. Everyone’s basically shoving everyone else around to the music tempo. No one is throwing punches or kicks, although an occasional fist can fly. If you are involved in a push mosh, practice good moshing etiquette. This includes picking up anyone who has fallen, not aiming for a face, or kicking anyone that’s down.
Mosh pit exit strategy. If you find yourself on the ground, cover your head and stick your hand up so someone can get you off the ground. Most likely someone will. If you are ready to exit the mosh pit before the song is over, interlace your fingers behind your head, and crouch through the surrounding crowd. Also make safe eye contact with the crowd so they know you aren’t trying to involve them in the mosh pit.