Even Har Mar Superstar loves mosh pits! All photos by Darin Kamnetz
We’ve got a humdinger of an Audi of Minneapolis, Audi of St. Paul Go Show planned for you this Friday at Fine Line, as SoCal surf-punks FIDLAR team up with locals France Camp!
Given the bands involved, this show is just about guaranteed to get rowdy, and Go 96.3 wants to make sure you and your loved ones are adequately prepared for the chaos. In the event of a mosh pit, follow our easy-to-use guide below.
First, some ground rules that can be applied to nearly any mosh pit you might find yourself in:
1: No striking, grappling, or attempting to cause grievous bodily harm
We can’t stress this enough. Mosh pits are emphatically NOT places to intentionally harm others. This is not an MMA ring. Nothing will make you enemies or get you thrown out of a show or faster than throwing a punch in the pit. This also applies to wrestling moves like headlocks, arm bars, etc. Just don’t do it.
2: If somebody falls, pick them up
Moshing = spilled drinks, and spilled drinks = slippery floor. Slippery floors + jostling bodies means it’s only a matter of time until somebody slips or trips and finds themselves heading towards the floor. Your job is to immidiately pick them up. This is also a great way to make friends, because the person you just saved from a trampling will be super grateful for your help.
If you find yourself starting to fall in a pit, try to orient yourself so you’re falling onto your back, tuck your chin towards your chest (to keep your head away from the ground) and sick your arms out. Odds are that there’s going to be some folks close enough to you to help break your fall or catch you as you’re falling. If not, try to let the soft parts of your butt and back take the impact, and be ready to be pulled up from the ground by your fellow moshers.
3: Be aware of your size/Don’t be a jerk
While a great mosh pit can be a truly communal and uplifting experience, it’s important to remember that we all have different bodies and levels of tolerance for the physical demands of a pit. If you’re a large-bodied male person, your experience in a pit will be significantly less intense than that of a smaller-bodied female person. This doesn’t mean you need to “Go easy” on anyone, per se, but it does mean that you need to be more aware of your surroundings.
If you’ve been physically blessed with “pit privilege,” let common sense be your guide, and do your best to make sure your version of fun doesn’t make anybody else’s night miserable.
Those are the ground rules! Now on to some general tips to enhance your moshing experience:
- Try not to take things too personally. If somebody hits you with a particularly hard bump, it’s hard not to want to retaliate, but you should resist the temptation. They probably didn’t mean to do it.
- Go with the flow. Trying to fight the momentum of your fellow moshers is usually foolish. Imagine you’re a pinball in a pinball machine.
- That said, a low center of gravity is tougher to move. If you mosh your way up to the stage and find a spot you want to hold, spread your feet in a power stance/half squat and drop your shoulders slightly, like you’re a basketball player that’s posting up.
- If things are getting to intense, take a break! Work your way to the outer edges of the pit where you can get a little air, or better yet, grab some water at the bar. No spot is good enough to make yourself miserable for.
- If you find yourself underneath a crowdsurfer (see more below), do your best to help the stay aloft, but protect head with your hands and arms, especially if you’re near their feet.
- It’s customary to hold any piece of clothing or personal possession you find on the floor high in the air to help its owner find it.
- You will get wet. Mosh pits are inherently sweaty, and there’s a decent chance you’ll get water or other beverages spilled on you. If you’ve got a long walk back to the car, we recommend coat check so that you have some dry clothes for after the show. Or you could just buy a T-Shirt!
- Your feet will almost certainly get stepped on. Boots are awesome here, because they protect your toes. Don’t wear anything with a heel unless you’re very confident in your balance, and don’t wear anything you wouldn’t mind getting a little scuffed.
An extremely common variation of the standard mosh pit is the “Circle Pit.” Rather than jostling one another while facing the band, moshers “Open up” a circular portion of the crowd and run laps around it while bumping into one another. Circle Pits allow for a little bit more breathing room (good for claustrophobic folks), but tend to be more intense, because moshers can build more momentum for harder slams with the extra running space.
Perhaps the most iconic product of the mosh pit tradition is the crowd surf. I’m sure we’ve all dreamed about how euphoric it would be to jump from a stage and have hundreds of hands holding you aloft. I’m about to burst that bubble slightly, sorry.
The first thing that’s important to remember is that many venues DO NOT ALLOW CROWDSURFING, meaning that even if you do manage to surf your way to the stage, your only reward will be a swift removal from the venue. Most of the time, this is for the safety of the band as well as the audience.
If you’re down to risk it, or it seems like crowd surfing will be permitted at your show, then please, please, for the love of god, look at Rule #3 again. If you’re 6’2″ and weigh 225 pounds, you’re going to make everyone‘s life miserable by crowd-surfing, especially if the folks below you are just trying to stay upright in a pit. Again, use common sense here. If you wouldn’t want to carry your own body, please don’t force folks smaller than you to do it for you.
If you fit the ideal crowd-surfer’s build and you’re really determined to do it, we have a few tips:
- To get to shoulder/head height, you’re probably going to need a boost. Find your biggest friend, and use their hands or shoulders as a ladder, and lift yourself onto your other friends (or the people in front of you that you courteously warned), almost as if you were swimming.
- This where you should try to contort yourself to end up on your back, if at all possible. Surfing on your stomach leaves a lot of sensitive parts exposed. Tuck your chin as well, again, to keep your head out of the way.
- Now it’s time to let the crowd do their work. DON’T FLAIL YOUR LIMBS (You’re likely to punch/kick somebody in the head, inadvertently). You are a leaf in the wind. Let the natural motion of the crowd carry you in the direction of the stage.
- Keep your eyes out for ‘dead zones’ or areas where the pit has opened up and become less dense. If you end up headed towards one, get ready to bail because it’s probably the end of your ride.
- Speaking of which, when you feel yourself headed towards the floor, tuck it up and brace yourself, cuz it might hurt.
- If you somehow manage to make it to the stage, allow the venue’s security staff to help you land safely, and be courteous. They’re protecting you and your favorite band.
See ya in the pit!