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!

Festival Coverage

Tips for an unforgettable Hopscotch

With Hopscotch right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how your weekend will pan out. Though you’ll have a ton of fun regardless, just a bit of planning can take your Hopscotch to the next level. I’m here to give you a few things to think about as you take a look at this year’s schedule. Though this will be my first Hopscotch, I have been to Bonnaroo the last two years as well as the BUKU festival in New Orleans earlier this year. Hopefully you can learn a little from my past music festival successes and mistakes.

  1. Make a list of Must-sees and a list of want-to-sees

There’s probably a few names that jump out at you on the schedule as shows that you need to see. Make these shows must-sees. Then, make a list of other shows that you would like to see. It’s good to have these tiers in case one of your friends wants to see a different show at the same time. You can see how much each person really cares about seeing that band and make a decision based off of that.

      2. Don’t follow your schedule too closely

Though it’s good to have a basic schedule of shows you want to see, don’t be afraid to branch out. Some of my favorite festival shows were spur-of-the-moment decisions inspired by the musical tastes of new friends. It’s also a great way to discover new music. Even if you don’t know the band now, they could be your favorite band in a year based off of a fantastic show.

      3. Don’t get too drunk early in the day

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks at shows if you’re of age. Just be sure you’re not wasted at 7 o’clock. By 12 you’ll be in no state to go to any shows, let alone enjoy them. If you’re going to drink, start later in the night or pace yourself. You don’t want to be the guy passed out in an alley outside the venue.

      4. Fight through the pain

At some point in the festival, it’ll be late at night and you and all of your friends will be dead tired. Someone will suggest you skip this one show and go back to the hotel or apartment because “Do we really need to see this band?” I know it’s tough but try to resist! When you think back to your weekend, are you going to remember that killer show or that extra hour of sleep? You can sleep when you’re dead. Hopscotch only comes around once a year. Make the most of it.

      5. Enjoy yourself!

You’re at a music festival! Your job for the next few days is to have fun and see a lot of cool live music. Regardless of what happens, you’re going to have an unforgettable time. You’ll grow closer to old friends and meet new friends from across the state and country. You’ll see some of your favorite bands and discover some new ones. There’s nothing like it. Have a blast.