Moshing 101

With Hopscotch approaching, there is a certain topic on everyone’s mind – moshing. For the use of this article, the term moshing will have the following definition: Any physical contact between the audience members that ranges from group swaying to lightly knocking into each other… and a moderate amount of pushing. Moshing is a controversial topic. Some people love it and take every opportunity possible to partake. On the other hand, others find it unapealing and whenever they see someone moshing they get as far away as possible.

In order to appease the crowd, it is important to know the correct times to mosh. This is my guide on when to mosh and when not to mosh. I do hope that this will save many scars, both emotional and physical.

–Make sure the music is suitable for moshing.
Is this music acoustic? Is it one person singing and playing an instrument? If so, it’s probably not the ideal scene for moshing. I, personally, find that for more downtempo music, moshing is not always necessary.
If it is almost anything else, vary your degree of moshing depending on the intensity of the music.

–Make sure the environment lends itself to moshing.
Are there people moshing already? Are people getting a moshing circle started? If so, that part of the audience and that part of the floor is a great place for you to be.
However, if you’re the one getting the moshing started, your job might be a little more difficult. For instance, if you’re in a part of the audience that is just swaying and head-bobbing, I’d suggest relocating to a different part of the floor before beginning to mosh. Many people do not find it enjoyable when you are knocked back by other people in crowds and receive elbow strikes. However, if done properly it can lead to a better environment and memorable show.
Your safest bet is finding a friend who likes to mosh and begin with them. People around you who are interested will immediately begin to mosh with you as well. And as you already know, once moshing is started and accepted by a handful of people, it’ll grow quickly.

–If the band encourages you to mosh, then go for it! Mosh your heart out.
Many times, if the crowd hasn’t already started moshing itself, bands will encourage their audience to mosh. This is definitely an invitation, and one the band hopes the audience will accept. It’s very fun and thrilling to see the audience moshing with the music. It’s honestly a compliment and means the audience is into the show, performance, and music.
However, this invitation does not have to be accepted by all audience members. If you do not feel comfortable moshing, then do not do so. I would suggest, though, stepping aside from the moshing part of the audience to avoid contact, shoving, elbows, etc. The band wants you, non-moshers, to enjoy your time as well!

This Moshing 101 lesson is not to deter you from moshing. Moshing is a social interaction, and as such, requires at least two people. It can also be an infectious experience, when one person starts moshing, all other potential moshers come out of the cracks and rush towards the scene. Keep in mind, that just because people aren’t moshing yet doesn’t mean you can’t make it start. Just know when and how to do it first!

Furthermore, this lesson is also not to pressure you to mosh. It’s definitely a form of enjoyment and expression for those who are comfortable with it. However, I do recommend that if you not tried before, it’s a good experience. Maybe, a smaller and less-chaotic moshpit could be the opportunity to try it. After all, you never know until you try, right? See you guys in the pit!