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Concert and Mosh Pit Injuries

mosh pit injuries

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When we think of concerts and music festivals, we think of some of the most exciting potential memories. However, the negligence of others can cause injury nearly anywhere you go – including concerts. If an event planner fails to uphold safety standards, they may be liable for mosh pit injuries sustained at the event. If you or someone you know suffered injuries due to negligence, you need the qualified Houston personal injury lawyers at Reich & Binstock. Call 713-622-7271 to schedule your free consultation.

What Is a Mosh Pit?

All mosh pits are unique. The music genres performed during the event, and even the individuals in that unique pit, determine the intensity of pits. On top of slam-dancing or headbanging, punk-rock pits frequently feature “ninja moshing,” a sort of moshing wherein hands and feet are utilized.

There’s also the notoriously perilous and terribly foolish wall of death. The wall of death is a type of moshing where the crowd is split into two, with half on either side of the arena, with one side rushing into the other and crashing the two halves together.

Although each pit’s intensity and risk levels vary, the rules regulating pit conduct remain consistent, notably during heavy-metal performances.

Why Is It Called a Mosh Pit?

Mosh Pits, as we know them, were first seen at hardcore punk performances in the 1980s. There is no definitive origin for the name or attribution to who developed it, though there are many theories of where it came from. It came into being sometime between 1975-1980 in the Los Angeles Punk subculture and California hardcore punk bands. There, it quickly traversed the nation and formed into the version we know and other variations of thrashing.

Types of Mosh Pits

Slam Dancing

The precursor of contemporary moshing is the slam dance, which is typically used interchangeably with moshing. Slam dancing is flailing about in a pit, which are large clearings found on concert grounds. Slam dancers respond to the beat by swinging their arms and pumping their legs. Although slamming may not officially include striking other individuals, it frequently does as a result of mishaps or violent mosh members.

Circle Moshing

The area for the pit widens, and the core of the pit stays relatively vacant in a Circle Pit, while all of the members go along the pit’s perimeter in a circular fashion. Circle Pits may grow to be enormous, and because you’re just rushing in a circle instead of crashing into everyone, there’s a reduced risk of harm. However, any of the below might unfold inside the circle pit, such as:

  1. Dance or skanking that resembles sprinting in a counterclockwise direction
  2. “Running” man technique, spontaneous thrash scenes featuring elbows and legs flailing. 
  3. Pogoing, the bouncing up and down and banging against other people, is generally seen towards the head of the area.

Wall of Death

This is perhaps the most intense variation of moshing, in which the pit’s mob is split into two, and each group waits on either side. The two then collide after a cue, generally delivered by the playing band’s lead singer, and a standard Mosh Pit ensues with an initial wave of human bodies. The risks associated with this variation are clear. Due to the high risk of damage posed by Walls of Death, numerous locations urge performers to agree not to promote them.

Mosh Pit Evolution

  • From 1976 to 1980, Mosh pits and slam-like dancing were created by punks and hardcore fans.
  • Mosh Pits also emerged with the 1980s thrash metal movement. When the music changed, the fans adjusted, which is when a noticeable crossover happened. Thrash Rock began gaining popularity while Glam Rock faded.
  • In 1995, The Smashing Pumpkins had made it clear that they opposed moshing. A fan died in May 1995 during a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Dublin, Ireland, after she was trampled by a swarm of Moshers.
  • Woodstock 1999 featured massive pits and a slew of emerging metal artists. These pits erupted everywhere, varying in size and violence based on the group, performance, and song.
  • On June 30, 2000, throughout a packed Pearl Jam event in Denmark, the deadliest mosh to date erupted. Rescuers discovered eight deceased fans, with a ninth succumbing to injuries afterward in the hospital.
  • At least eight people were killed and more injured at the Astroworld Music Festival on November 5, 2021, while artist Travis Scott appeared on stage. Several concertgoers jumped on security vehicles that attempted to reach the mosh pit victims. This incident at the Astroworld festival has sparked a heated debate about the safety and sanity of moshing participants and events, as well as if they should be called “Mosh Pits” or “Death Pits.”

Within the last decade, according to Crowd Management Strategies, around 10,000 individuals have been wounded in and near mosh pits.

Are Mosh Pits Dangerous?

mosh pit deaths

Mosh Pits will always have risks and dangers to them. Whether or not that danger outweighs the enjoyable chaos and energy release depends on a number of factors. When bodies are flailing, and you are wondering how you are going to survive mosh pits, it is smart to always understand what your options are to escape and keep an eye on your surroundings.

There are typically areas designated as safe with a no moshing sign. In it, there are security workers meant to help prevent or break up moshing that may occur. Be mindful of your surroundings as you never know when someone is going to break those rules, be too close to you, or what type of moshing they may start.

Note that metal concerts can be another situation altogether. Whenever a mosher falls, the others will often create a circle around them and assist them in getting back up. The pits can be fast and rough, but many people usually assist you if you stumble or fall.

Stay alert for crowd killing. At a hardcore event, individuals will brutal dance along the mosh pit’s boundary with the intention of striking the audience. Crowd killers seem to think that not participating isn’t acceptable. It essentially seeks to be as damaging as possible by flailing clenched hands, kicking vigorously, or forcing victims to the ground.

Crowd Killing conflicts directly with the Mosh Pit’s Golden Rule: When anyone falls to the ground, you pull them back up.

Can You Get Injured in a Mosh Pit?

You’re likely to get wounded if you’re trapped in the heart of a stampede towards the stage at a concert or festival. If you’re in the first row, you’ll be forced against the stage or barrier by the combined power of strangers and concertgoers. The organizers, venue coordinators, and audience management are responsible for ensuring the well-being of guests.

You may have been disabled or injured as a result of the incident during the Astroworld Festival. You shouldn’t have to continue suffering if something has occurred to you. If you were injured at the event, you still have time to recover damages. Each personal injury case is valid since someone else’s violence or negligence caused your injury.

However, concert injuries extend beyond just the Astroworld event. If you have been injured at a live concert, contact us to see if you have a case and get a free consultation to determine your next steps.

Mosh Pit Injuries

If you’ve been trampled, you might have suffered the following injuries:

  • Crushing wounds
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Head injuries caused by being kicked in the head
  • Injuries caused by being kicked in the body
  • Lungs collapsing
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • A heart attack or cardiac arrest caused by a crushing weight on your chest
  • Bones or limbs that have been broken

Being In a Mosh Pit


Mosh Pit Preparation

To survive a mosh pit, you must plan ahead of time before you ever leave home. When you’re attending an outdoor venue or anticipate being on the floor space instead of in a seat, remember the following. Dress in clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty or even torn. Consider opting for contact lenses instead of glasses. Carry nothing valuable with you, including a wristwatch, jewelry, and anything else that might be lost, damaged, or stolen. Tie your shoes and drink plenty of water.

Mosh Pit Aversion

It is sensible to avoid the pit altogether before it develops if you don’t want to risk injury. The midway point in between the front stage and the opposite side of the room is the safest place to be during a performance.

Mosh Pit Etiquette

Once you’re in a pit, keep your elbows facing downward. It would be bad to give someone a black eye for many reasons, one being they may retaliate. It’s acceptable to press and bump, but you shouldn’t aim to hurt anyone intentionally. When somebody wants to break free from the pit, shift to the side and allow them to get free before rapidly closing the sides again. If someone falls, lend a hand and assist them in getting up. When someone is hurt, gather your friends or family to construct a protective perimeter around them while you wait for help to get them to safety. Constantly keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings; the chances of being injured are very great in the pit.

Surviving a Mosh Pit

If a pit is getting out of hand and you can’t keep up, consider drifting towards the pit’s core. This is a secure refuge in which you’re less prone to get wounded. However, it is more crowded and full of sweating people. When you are unable to reach the middle, keep walking in circles and stick behind anyone larger than you rather than fighting the pit. The music will inevitably come to an end, and everyone should relax. This is your time to immediately navigate out from the pit and to the sides to compose yourself.

What to Do After a Mosh Pit Injury

A mosh pit may appear as a fun place to be during a show, but it is also one of the more risky places to be for a performance. Individuals purposely collide with one another, and within highly intense pits, participants might also rush at or body slam others. When you are wounded due to a mosh, you should take urgent action to reduce your injuries and get medical care as soon as possible.

Should you not want to be a participant in moshing, maneuver yourself to the side or rear of the audience right away. Relocating from the area squarely below the artists is your smartest choice. This seems to be especially important if you have been hurt, as rescue medics are normally stationed on the audience’s flanks. If you find yourself stranded in the center of a pit, consider crowd-surfing to the sidelines.

Retaliation simply exacerbates the situation and is more than likely to cause additional harm. Should you respond towards the individual who has injured you, you carry the potential to enrage the rest of the audience and cause far more damage. Please treat others with respect, even if they fail to do so toward you.

Injuries are quite prevalent in just about any form of moshing. Although the majority of victims only sustain minor injuries, there have also been a few incidents of severe injuries or fatalities.

Don’t ever put off taking care of your wounds. Even if you just have minor pain, being on your feet in a highly active environment can aggravate your condition. Medic staff are present at practically every large event and will assess you quickly to see if you require additional attention or if you could somehow comfortably remain at the event.

Contact the Concert Injury Attorneys at Reich & Binstock

We understand that the circumstances surrounding mosh pits and concert injuries can be a gray area and confusing for many. Not only that, but it is one of the newer areas of law being addressed and debated. We are offering you a free consultation in which we can determine if you have enough evidence for a lawsuit. At Reich & Binstock, we will do our best as top-rated and well-experienced attorneys to get you the compensation you deserve. Crowd surge injuries deserve just compensation.

When you engage in a mosh environment or activity, you take on that risk, so you should always be aware and safe to the extent you are able to ensure. But for those of you who have been injured as a bystander or pulled into a chaotic concert injury-inducing scenario, we want to help you establish the negligence of the individuals at fault. Call Reich & Binstock for a free consultation and representation that cares at 713-622-7271.

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