Concert culture: manners maketh moshpit

On 5 November 2019, the classic rock band Feeder, most well-known for the songs Buck Rogers and Just a Day, played at the LCR to a mixed crowd, though consisting mainly of older male non-students. During the set the band was met with an uproarious crowd, swelling in enthusiasm as they began to focus more on the classic songs from their earlier work. However, as this enthusiasm increased, so did the raucousness of the older members of the crowd.

Throughout Feeder’s set, perhaps not heavy enough to warrant such a reaction from the crowd, two people were pushed to the ground and remained there until able to push themselves back up. One woman was pulled to the centre of a group of moshers and found herself unable to leave.

One UEA student commented about a hit to the nose from a man standing in front, causing a nose bleed and forcing him to leave the concert early. Sadly, these events did not occur within a mosh-pit. Instead, it came as the boisterousness of a group of men in the second and third rows, not conscious of those surrounding them. Most notably, the actions of the crowd broke the unspoken rules of mosh pit etiquette. 

If one has frequented venues to listen to heavier bands, the pits in which people get thrown around have a notable hypersensitivity to those that choose to dance within it. People are picked up when they fall during these more organised pits. On previous occasions I have seen lost items held in the air to be retrieved once the song had concluded. 

On that basis, it is a shame that these methods of safety were not upheld by the crowds present during the concert. No distinct pit was established to dance within, and this left those simply there for the music unable to back away from those shouldering each other. The floor was littered with crushed SU cups knocked from those not wishing to be involved but had been forced into the centre. Mosh pits, on principle, should not present a danger to those in the crowd, let alone those involved, and this led to people having to leave the concert early, despite the £25 spent on tickets.

Perhaps the most notable issue of the night was the failure of the bouncers present at the venue to both acknowledge the deliberate violence of those in view, and escort them out of the venue before further people became injured. In the same vein, if this behaviour occurred during any club night, such as Damn Good or A-List, the perpetrators would have quickly been thrown out, yet this failed to occur during a night when people were beginning to get injured. Both the SU and those working under it have a duty to ensure the safety of those who come to the LCR to watch the bands they enjoy, I feel that their actions were not up to the standard I expect from the university.

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Oliver Shrouder

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May 2022
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