Punk Features

Mosh and Circle Pit Etiquette

The rules to keep it safe and fun!

We’re pretty sure that just like us, you are over lockdown and are chomping at the bit to get back into the good ol’ days of enjoying the high-energy frenzy of live gigs again. With some smaller venues starting to reopen in some countries after a time of necessary pause, the anticipation of getting back out there has many hearts racing!

And what’s the perfect outlet to release all this pent up lock down steam? It’s got to be the Pit. Without a doubt a circle or mosh pit is not for the faint-hearted but getting in the middle of one and being part of that insanely sweaty, heaving, body-slamming crowd has to be one of the most exhilarating feelings ever.

To an outsider it must look like a violent explosion of anarchy but in reality most are pretty safe because there are some ‘unwritten rules’ that keep the experience memorable for all the right reasons. 

Here are some no-brainer, common sense, circle and mosh pit tips to help keep it fun and be a part of an experience you want to relive every chance you get.

1. If someone falls down, pick them up.

This is most obvious but also by far the most crucial. No one wants to get trampled and end up in the emergency ward. Circle pits move at a pace so if someone goes down give them a hand, lift them up and keep going.

2. If someone wants out, let them out.

If someone want out, don’t be a dick, just let them out. There are times when someone is unwillingly caught up so recognising that and getting them out could win you a life long friend. There is no doubt you can cop a beating in any pit and the momentum of the circle can be too much for some.

3. Try to keep up

The pace of a pit can rise and fall with the tempo of the song or simply with the propulsion of the pit itself.  Although most of the time you know what’s coming simply by knowing the lulls and highs of the song the band are belting out,  it’s still best to try and pace yourself according to the flow of the pit as a whole. If you can’t keep up get out, there’s always next time. Trust me it’s easier to eject yourself than loose control and get sucked into chaos when you don’t want to be there.


4. Don’t make it personal

Circle and mosh pits are just a gigantic chaotic aggressive dances.  Arms and elbows fly all over the place, toes get trod on and if you’re short you’ll usually get hit in the face at some stage (trust me, I know for sure), but you should already know this before you throw yourself into the whirlwind of sweaty bodies. If you get a whack don’t get upset, just wear it. If someone pushes you hard, don’t retaliate. If you’ve had a gutful of alcohol and you know you’re a bit hot headed, maybe sit it out.  A pit is the ultimate high of letting out frustrations on other willing participants without anger or loathing. Embrace the power of it and pat each other on the back afterward.

5 Respect

Respect is the key to these ‘unwritten rules’. Respect that not everyone is there for the pit. Not everyone wants to wake up battered and bruised with broken bone or phones. Respect your fellow pit monsters and take care of the clan, remember everyone is there for the same reason – to enjoy the music. Respect the venue staff. It’s their job to keep it from getting violent.  If they’re in the pit, it’s to keep you as safe as possible. Don’t piss them off.  Respect the band. If they call for you to stop, then stop. It’s usually for a good reason. Again it’s pretty simple – Just Don’t Be A Jerk.

Sure there are risks with any pit – there has even been deaths, the most recent at a Slipknot gig in August 2019 – but when the band calls for the circle and the floor opens up, that feeling of exhilaration, of giving yourself up as a part of a human vortex, is like nothing else. Just remember, it’s all about it being a f**king awesome experience and memorable night for all the right reasons.  Have fun and be safe Pit fans!