Last weekend I assigned ten of my staff to a youth event. It was a skate festival, followed by live acts – including a heavy metal band.
An hour before this band came on, organisers warned me to put my people on high alert.
Why? Because the kids were about to become extremely excited and ‘mosh’.
I’d observed moshing at dozens of youth events. I didn’t think this would be any different.
How WRONG I was!
I can’t remember the band’s name, but it had Death in it. That should’ve set alarm bells ringing!
The fans were aged from around 9 to 30. As the band jammed, these young people went into a weird trance.
Then they started to hit, kick and push each other.
This moshing looked like an all-in brawl. I found it extremely hard to see the fine line that established the difference.
Then the band leader started encouraging ‘mosh moves’ by name!
When he called for the Wall of Death, the crowd divided, leaving a five-metre gap between the two opposing groups. Then they ran as fast as they could into each other – bumping, falling and injuring themselves.
Next was the Lasso. The fans ran in a circle as fast as they could, until they fell over or into each other.
Finally, the band leader incited everyone to crush against the crash fence so people could crowd surf.
While my staff managed to catch a few of the surfers as they slid off the forest of raised hands, some fell straight to the ground!
It was like watching a cult. These people seemed possessed for a full 30 minutes.
It was absolutely crazy. How could anyone let a nine-year-old child be involved in this?
I needed some answers.
After the event, I had a debrief with my staff. We tried to think of ways to prevent moshing.
We agreed that getting amongst a mosh pit can make things worse. Staff can even be knocked out by flying arms and feet.
Apart from stopping the music, we didn’t come up with much.
Do you know how moshing can be prevented?
I’d really appreciate your advice.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.