What to do in the event of a mosh

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Field Day, a London based music festival featuring an extremely wide variety of acts, both obscure and recognised, across the music scene.

Being a fellow who enjoys listening to new bands, new sounds and new music, it was a complete haven for an eclectic listener. However, my main take away from the experience, strangely, weren’t the new bands I was going to listen to when I returned home from London, but the fact that next time I went to a music festival I really had to make sure I was prepared.

Specifically, in the event of a mosh.

Field Day 2016
Credit: about-blank.co

Now, as an introverted, somewhat physically unhealthy fellow, you can imagine that my familiarity with mosh pits was so unsurprisingly limited, you might even wonder what the hell I was doing anywhere near a pit filled with a swirling cacophony of very energetic music fans. It’s probably important I mention my ulterior motive for attending Field Day.

In short, a band I very much liked was performing there, a band by the name of Death Grips. To keep it succinct, they are famous for performing the most violently angry rap and hip-hop possible, so needless to say, fans of their art are oftentimes especially lively. This led to plentiful carnage near the front, and, during the process of the show, I noticed a plethora of things that would have been useful to me before heading in, because by the end of the show, my ears weren’t working properly, my voice was destroyed, I was pretty severely dehydrated, sweat constantly got into my eyes, and I no longer had glasses on my face.

Presumably they were lost in the mess of sprawling feet, sweat and tears.

Death Grips (3)
Credit: Ben McQuaide

That said, it was an absolute barrel of fun. There was something about jumping to the beat, bashing against other fans, screaming lyrics and generally getting thrashed, that sparked an almost primal feeling of passion, of sheer hot-blooded adrenaline, that I’m pretty sure I have never felt in my entire life, and I wasn’t alone with that feeling. 

HOWEVER, it’s very clear to me now that it would’ve been useful if I knew what the hell I was in for, and thankfully I have a few tips useful for anyone likely to watch some live music with an especially excitable audience:

  1. If you can, put your fragile (or expensive) belongings in a safe place beforehand. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a bag, a locker, as long as it’s not going to be directly out in the open in the crowd. Needless to say this includes glasses. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
  2. Be prepared for things to get loud. I mean really REALLY loud. Loud enough to deafen you after the show ends. To combat this, bring earplugs if you don’t feel like learning how being deaf feels.
  3. Bring liquid. You’re gonna be getting battered, jumping, and screaming. Trust me when I say you need to stay hydrated.
  4. Don’t stay if you cant handle it. You’re gonna be getting bashed, sweaty and generally rocked to your core if you’re going into a mosh, so getting overwhelmed and fainting is a legitimate problem that can happen in intense crowds. If you feel faint or sick, push through to the back. Thankfully, the crowd, while intense, should let you through to the back or pick you up if you fall, which brings me to my final (and most important) point…
  5. Be respectful of those around you. This might sound a little ironic, considering the whole point of a mosh is to bash and thrash against the other crowd members, but there’s a fine line between getting into the music and letting someone get hurt. If someone falls over, help them get on their feet, if someone needs to get out of the pit of people, let them through. Make sure that everyone’s having a good time, because in the end, you’re all there to lose it to the music, not to get trampled on.

And there you have it, keep these steps in mind and you should have a pretty fun (If chaotic, intense, loud and sweaty) time. You’re gonna sweat more than you feel comfortable, you may lose more clothes than you bargained for, and you might get bruised to heaven and back, but by god, if you’re into losing yourself to a good tune, you’ll have a blast.

Now go out there and jump into a screaming crowd, prepared and ready for the intensity that awaits.

By William Harmar

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