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Just some basic rules to keep it a little bit safer, and a lot more entertaining.

  1. Do not wear any piercings. While fashion says you should look cool, it'd be a lot less painful to wear ear/nose/eyebrow rings outside of a mosh pit, rather than in one. Now, I'm not saying that people will intentionally try to rip them out, but accidents do happen. Unless you want bloody holes in your head, rather than fashionable ones, the mosh pit is not for you.
  2. Tie your hair back; no dreadlocks. Same as above. Accidents do happen, so make sure there are a lot less opportunities to get caught on something. Getting your hair pulled out is a rather painful alternative than tying it back, or getting it cut.
  3. If you are to fall, thrust out your hand. Chances are, someone will see you and help you to your feet, where you will be able to continue thrashing, rather than getting trampled.
  4. Similarly, if someone else falls and sticks out their hand, pull them to their feet. Not only is this polite by corresponding with the last rule, you wouldn't want to be the one on the ground with no one helping you up. Make both of you feel better, and haul them to their feet. You're in this together.

These basic rules should keep things simple, while also keeping them fun. Happy moshing!

unlike most situations, in a mosh pit, a good offense is the best defense. in order to understand these rules, you must understand how a mosh pit operates. When the music begins, a circle forms somewhere. If you're inside the circle, you're in harm's way. This is where things go crazy. If you're just outside the circle, beware people getting thrown into you, pushes coming from behind, and stray fists and feet being thrust from the center of the circle.

  1. high kicks. If things are getting a little hectic in the circle, start throwing high kicks. don't actually try to boot someone, just kick as high as you can in random directions. kick as if you were trying to hit yourself in the face with your toes. if you find yourself losing balance, try extending an arm out in front of you. remember, try to stay in synch with the music so you don't look nuts. if done properly, the circle will clear enough for you to perform another maneuver.

  2. whirlwind/roundhouse. the ol' standby. there are alot of variations on this one. it doesn't really work out too well inside the pit, but it's good if you just wanna tear from one end to the other relatively quickly while causing some damage. what you do is spin rapidly while letting your arms go limp with your fists clenched tightly. don't just spin with your arms straight out at shoulder height; pivot the top half of your body with your own momentum.

  3. "spin me". say this to someone near you while extending your arms, crossed at the wrists. they'll cross their arms and grab your wrists. you grab theirs. begin spinning. go faster and faster until the lighter of the two of you begins lifting off the ground. if you're getting lifted, start throwing kicks behind you. this will almost certainly clear the pit.

one thing people don't realize is that moshing isn't just people punching each other. there is a right way and a wrong way to mosh, just like any other type of dancing. you don't really see people actually moshing unless you go to a smaller venue. if you decide you wanna check out the pit, don't just go flying in there. hang around the edge and watch what's going on. if there's 12 guys in there, beating the shit out of one another, that's not moshing, and you're probably safer just hanging out on the outside. if there's between one and five guys in there, and they're doing all sorts of acrobatic maneuvers and attacks, they're moshing, and you should try not to interfere. in either case, if you somehow get drawn into the whole deal, just follow the above rules and maneuvers and you should come home in one piece.

I'd just like to add some other rules that could help a lot.

1. Mosh pit doesn't mean circle pit. The pit's shape shifts a lot during the show. Another very usual pit is one in a semi circular shape, the center of the circle is at the front of the stage, this is where harder mosh appears. Know your pit.

2. Know the bands. I know that everyone goes to shows to see new bands but you should try to mosh mainly at songs you are already used to, this way you don't get unexpected accidents like trying to stage dive close to the end of the song or be surprised by a sudden change in the pit, it could be dangerous or embarrassing.
Another good reason is that each band attracts a specific type of crowd.

3. Bring some friends. It's much funnier and safe if you know the people around you! It's also common sense to have a stage diving crew to help out, take turns with your friends.

4. Be positive. Like the above nodes said, there is a right way to mosh! Don't use the pit to take out on others or for revenge.
Respect the people that don't mosh.
Be nice to your fellow moshers, mainly the girls. Yes, there are a lot of girls in the mosh pit please be careful and please don't try to feel them when they jump off the stage. Just like Sri (ex-Baby Gopal) said in a Shelter show: think of them as your mothers and sisters, don't touch.

I'd also like to add some extra mosh pit movements:

  • floor punching. That's right, get on your knees and punch the floor to the sound of the music, cry, scream, etc. I've seen this in walls too (wall punching ?????).
  • the tank. Get some friends (ten is a good number), everyone grabs each other's arms and start to move around the pit as one massive power.
If you normally wear glasses, wear contacts.

The other night, I went to the Jagermeister Music Tour's kickoff show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the opening act, the Wolfpac. Their set involved four scantily-clad dancers on stage (they were wearing schoolgirl uniforms, at least for the first 2 or 3 minutes), half-audible rap (their mics kept cutting off), and a mosh pit.

For some reason, they also had a trampoline onstage. One of their crew then jumped onto the trampoline, and jumped out about 6 or 7 feet, right into the front rows of the crowd.

Where I was.

This left the right ear-thing of the frames extremely bent out-of-place. Attempts to correct this bending resulted in the piece snapping off at the joint.

I managed to continue watching the concert, the glasses managed to stay on with one ear-thing. Then, during Systematic's set, the mosh pit a row or two behind me (I rightfully gained my spot at the front row) got ugly. I was hit from behind. Glasses flew off. Panic.

Fortunately, the glasses landed in my hat, which landed in front of the guardrail. Security gave them back to me, along with a piece of gaffers tape so I could temporarily repair my glasses.

The next day, to the optometrist's, for new $135 Polo titanium frames. A costly mistake indeed.

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