Right now a form of self-expression called Slam Dancing, more commonly called moshing, is being banned in Boston. Moshing is a style of dancing characterized by the participants pushing or slamming into each other and is commonly associated with hardcore punk and heavy metal music.
Concert-goers typically attend concerts not only to see their favorite bands perform but for the opportunity to mosh. Mosh pits, although violent, are controlled forms of self expression: No person is forced to participate and security provides control and safety to what one would think to be out of control. With proper safety measures taken, respect and a sense of community among moshers, and a safe space for those who choose not to participate, it makes no sense that concert-goers should be denied an integral part of their culture.
The reason for this ban comes as a result of a young student being hit so hard that he received a concussion. Michael McMahon, the twenty-two year old University of Massachusetts at Lowell Student, attended a February 21st Flogging Molly concert at the House of Blues. He wanted to see the band and to join the mosh pit. While enjoying the concert, and the mosh pit, he smashed heads with another individual.
Once it became apparent that he was injured, the individual who he smashed heads with and other concert-goers came to his aid, made sure he was fit to continue and then resumed activities. If security had intervened, the Boston House of Blues would have been fined, but because they did not the club was merely cited by the police because moshing does violate the clubs safety rules. The Boston police then requested that the club put up signs that allow concert-goers to know that mosh pits are banned.
Now, it’s understandable that not everyone wants to join a mosh pit, but that doesn’t mean that no one can join a mosh pit. Moshing began uncontrolled, with little regard for who was being hit, how they were hit and if they were injured. Nowadays, while incidents do happen, concert-goers who participate in moshing have opted for safer standards like creating a space for solely moshing, commonly called the mosh pit, and creating concern for others moshing.
While many have criticized moshing, it becomes important for individuals moshing, musicians, and security to maintain a level of communication, safety and respect for one another in order to reduce serious, life threatening injuries. Moshing is one of punk and metal’s favorite pastime. What if you went to your favorite concert and couldn’t dance?
– Margo, Future Boston Intern