According to the dictionary, the word ‘moshing’ means to “engage in uninhibited activities near the front of a stage during a rock concert.” It stands to reason then that a ‘mosh pit’ is the audience area (usually directly in front of the stage) where moshing takes place.
For some people the ultimate way to show their love for loud music is through the use of controlled violence. Unlike most other environments however – those people doing the moshing are unlikely to take offence if they’re shoulder-barged, hoisted up in the air, or even smacked on the side of the head. While it may be simple harmless fun for those participating, for the venue owners, mosh pits can be areas of concern. For this reason proper mosh pit management is key.
Mosh pit concerns
There are in effect two main areas of concern in mosh pits and these are crowd surfing and crushing. There’s no getting away from the fact that crowd surfing is dangerous. Participants can suffer bruises, sprains, whiplash, and if dropped from a height, even death. In equal measure the mosh pit areas at some venues are small. As a result it’s very easy for overcrowding and crushing to become a reality.
So what can be done to ensure mosh pit safety?
Try and advise against crowd surfing – Did you know that crowd surfing is actually illegal in some countries? However there’s no such law in Australia, so in order to dissuade people from doing it, ensure appropriate signage is displayed warning people of the dangers. In addition, tannoy announcements at the start of the event or set warning people that it won’t be tolerated at your venue might help.
Keep a look out for fragile people –Mosh pits aren’t for the faint hearted, especially for those who appear small and fragile. Event security will need to ensure that the 5 foot nothing young girl who is at a concert for the first time, doesn’t inadvertently stray into the area by mistake.
Ensure against hosing or drenching – In the past hosing or drenching has been commonplace for those participating in moshing. However it can bring with it it’s own set of problems. Firstly it makes the floor slippery so moshers are more likely to lose their footing and secondly, it quickly creates a humid environment in an already hot area. This can lead to people being exposed to heat exhaustion quicker. On the contrary, if patrons are looking and feeling hot, venue staff might consider being on hand with drinkable water. Alternatively if spraying is the only option, ensure it’s a light sprinkling. It’s far more effective at cooling people down than a complete soaking.
First aid stations – Finally be prepared for the fact that injuries may occur. For this reason it pays to ensure that first aid stations or equipment is on hand, so that if anyone does sustain an injury, it can be dealt with quickly.
If you’re looking to hold a large music event and feel you might need some mosh pit management advice, then contact MA Security Guards. We specialise in the security for music events including the management and security of mosh pits. Give us a call on 1300 020 406 and ensure you’ve done all you can to make your music festival a safe one.