The Mosh Pit

    It has come to my attention that much of the population of the world had been "left in the dark" about a very important part of the alternative subculture: The Mosh Pit.  I have witnessed first hand several Mosh Pits; yes, I have even been inside of one ::gasp::.  They can be fun, or they can be very ugly! Be ware the Mosh Pit.  If you do not like alternative music, if you are wearing trendy clothes, if you are wearing anything of value, or if you are not straightedge and go to a straight edge club, STAY OUT OF THE MOSH PIT!!! I also recommend if you answered "yes" to any of the above questions that you discontinue reading this article.  I you lack a sense of humor, not only should you stop reading this, you should leave my little corner of the web immediately!  That said, I shall begin my analysis of The Mosh Pit!

Terms and F.A.Q.:

What is this "Mosh?" - Mosh is the term for alternative dancing.

Mosh Pit - The area in while a group of alternative people dance.

What kind of music do you mosh to? - One can mosh to almost any fast music; but, mostly one moshes to punk, rock, ska, etc.

How does one mosh? - That is very complicated.  Moshing is composed of three different types of movements, pogoing, head banging, and slam dancing.

Pogo - jump up and down, and up and down, and up and down. . . repeat

Head Bang - tilt head back, tilt head forward, backward, forward. . . repeat

Slam Dance - This occurs especially while head banging and pogoing at the same time.  Try it, you'll loose your balance and start to go all over the place.  When you're in the pit there is very very very little room, so you end up slamming into people;  hence, slam dancing.

Stage Dive - Get on stage, jump off

Crowd Surf - Stage dive, land on crowd, pray that crowd catches you, try not to get dropped or have security guard get you.

Why are there security guards? - The keep you crazy fans away from the band and to keep the crowd surfers from surfing for extended amounts of time.

Is crowd surfing like in the movies? - No, you get touched in many places by a lot of different, strange, possibly stoned and/or drunk people, you don't know.  You get dropped a lot, and you kick people, they don't like it.  It is not all nice and smooth, it's very rough.

What's it like in a Mosh Pit? - There are a lot of people all packed together, at first it's calm, but then it gets kinda crazy and there's a lot of movement.  You are almost constantly touching people; you probably don't know any of these people, many of then are high and/or drunk.  You're all pretty sweaty and smelly.  There are people, between sets, before, and after, smoking and drinking.  The crowd surfers are kicking you in the head and you have to hold them up.  There are lotsa people slam dancing.  Sometimes you don't have enough room to expand your lungs to breath, but that doesn't matter 'cause the smoke is really thick, except in straightedge clubs where there is no smoke.  There are different currents of movement and people swaying, not in the nice 50's way, in several directions.  The big guys are usually beating the crap outta someone.  You can't really see the band, but you can feel the vibrations from the music like an earthquake.

You call that fun!?!? - YES!!!!!!

How intense is it? - There are different levels of intensity, depending upon several factors from what band is playing, the ratio of male to female, the location of the concert, and amount of alcohol and chemical substances consumed, and the part of the Mosh Pit.  The hardercore the band, the more guys, the more substances consumed, and the closer to the band you get, the more intense it is.

Anatomy of a Mosh Pit:

There are many parts to a Mosh Pit, see diagram 123.54-47 B.

The Hardcore Fans go to see the band.  They come far in advance to get up that close.  They are clinging to the fence for dear life and trying to push each other out of the way.   This can be fairly vicious, as the Big Stoned Guys are right behind you.

The Big Stoned Guys are running around in a circle beating people up and creating "waves" in the pit.  This is the most dangerous place to go.

The Level 3 Moshers are probably there to see the band and Mosh.  They enjoy Moshing a lot and do it often.  This is fairly dangerous especially if you are near the Big Stoned Guys (who are not always Stoned).

The Level 2 Moshers are there to see the band but don't want to brave the vicious Hardcore Fans.  They Mosh, they enjoy Moshing, and do it usually.

The Level 1 Moshers are there for the band; they might not know how to mosh.  They might not want to mosh; they may be taking a break.  They may be the newbies, or the poseurs.  In any case, they mosh a little but mostly stand around.

The Band plays.

The Security Guards remove Crowd Surfers, and look scary.

The Crowd surfers don't really go beyond the Big Stoned Guys.


If you're new to moshing:
- If you're pretty big, go as far as you want.
- If you're a decent size, go only to the middle of level 3.
- If you're little, bruise easily, or don't want to get "messed up" don't go too far from the end of level 1.
- If you're a chaperone, don't go out of level 1.
- If you're a poseur, don't go into it at all.


Ofcourse, all Mosh Pits are different, some are big, some are small, some are calm, some are really really crazy.  Some don't even have a stage, and some don't have a space between the fans and the bands; some don't have guards, and some have seating, behind level 1.  Some have speakers in the pit.  But, this is how they usually work.  At first, the Mosh Pit might scare you, but there is nothing to be afraid of!  There's lots of energy and fun here.  JUMP IN!!

Mosh Pit Linx:

Zen And The Art Of Moshing
Guide To The Mosh Pit
Dangers Of The Mosh Pit
To Mosh, Or Not To Mosh?
The Etiquette Of Moshing
A Pro-Mosh Site
Virtual Mosh Pit