Mosh Pit Etiquette

Moshing, Slam dancing, Pogoing, skanking, going ham (?)… those of you that have been there know the drill. It’s a flailing flesh-fest that’s got nothing to do with porn. Is it violent? Perhaps. Is it contradictory to pair the word “etiquette” with “mosh pit”? I don’t think so. I doubt you would’ve ever seen her in a mosh pit. But the three rules of etiquette are respect, consideration, and honesty according to Emily Post, who must have been the most delightful creature ever to grace earth. And I can dig that. Respect that if you punch me, I’m gonna punch you back. Consider just punching yourself and skipping the middle man. As for honesty, I honestly love a good pit. If I don’t leave that pit sweaty, dirty, and a little banged up, it was a poser convention. But I’m not a big fan of any choking or punching. This isn’t a fight. We’re here to blow off some steam, TOGETHER, not secure our place of dominance. That’s for the band to do. Can I get hurt in a mosh pit? If you’re asking yourself that question right now, perhaps I should just stand across the room, scowl a bit and shake my head at you.

The various online know-it-alls lend ownership to the punk, metal, and even grunge genres in that order. And the litigious powers that be classify moshing as a “consensual physical act”. While we may all laugh at the civility of that phrase, it does point out one thing; people are in the pit because they wanna be there.  So, I guess here is where I could add to Emily Post’s contributions by saying don’t ever push someone into a pit. That would be inconsiderate and grounds for a shanking. I say all of these things because I believe in the necessity of a pit. And I want to do my part to protect it by passing on a good word or two for us all. Because believe it or not, it has been under threat at times from the law. Back in 2012 when I was hanging around Boston a lot, I went to a Flogging Molly concert at the House of Blues. A raucous pit broke out. I had a blast, truthfully. But for some reason, Boston PD came down on the place. Apparently, they vowed to rid their town of the recreational sport and saw it fit to cite HoB for it. Around December of that same year, I stopped in there to see The Might Mighty Bosstones, and they had signs up prohibiting moshing. Question: Why do mosh pits always seem to rotate counter-clockwise? Well, why does draining water do the same? We’re mostly water anyway, right? Perhaps it has something to do with the earth’s rotation, and gravity, and wobble. I don’t know. Think on that and get back to me. In the meantime, here’s a few thoughts from some friends of ours here at NOM. Enjoy!

NOM Member Jorge Caicedo of The Grooxs and MIMIC – “You move in a circular motion. You don’t do football moves such as body blocking. And if someone falls, you pick them up. No punching…If you wanna punch, be aware there are consequences.”

Hunter Bruce of Fuel the Funeral Entertainment – “Don’t be an asshole, regardless of what side you’re on. Every show I go to there’s always that one dude with a problem and they always wanna start a fight over it. As for crowd surfing, just be aware of your surroundings. I’ve had the back of my head kicked dozens of times because someone was crowd surfing behind me and I wasn’t paying attention. Always keep a look out. Likewise, if you’re surfing then help the crowd carry you, don’t just give them dead weight. Gage the crowd. Don’t try and jump up there if you aren’t sure they can handle you.”

Raid Booking & Promotions – “You might get hit when in the pit. If someone falls, help them up.”

Author: Lingo Starr