As the excitement generated by this year’s A&O Blowout dies down and the last round of sweaty Instagram photos goes up, it is time to analyze one of the key components of the event: the mosh pit.

For the majority of people, reading that word probably stirred up some strong emotions and perhaps even a guttural reaction. Regardless of what position they take, I have yet to meet an individual who takes a neutral stance on moshing.

According to Urban Dictionary, moshing is “a dangerous genre of dancing related to heavy metal/rock music. Usually done in crowded areas by pushing, shoving and jumping.” Aside from the genre of music in question and the lack of condom balloons launched into the air by students, this definition paints a pretty accurate picture of what A&O’s October 5 event entailed.  

As someone who was nearly dead-center in the second row throughout each set this past Saturday, I would deem my experience at the Blowout quite tame. It was not without struggle and I witnessed my fair share of tomfoolery, but, overall, the moshing experience was very average.

However, all it took was a single glance around Saturday’s crowd mid-concert to deduce that this sentiment was not shared by all of my peers. Many fell victim to the pit early on. In fact, the majority of the people I attended the concert with left the pit long before Jaden took the stage. Every concert should be a positive experience for those in attendance and this guide was created to help achieve this goal. I will now teach you how to M.O.S.H. to get the most out of your next mosh.

Make yourself big

This one is the most difficult, I will not lie to you. As a 5’11” human, I will also acknowledge my natural advantage in this area. However, when I say big, I am referring to the space around you. Think back to kindergarten, when your teacher told you to put your arms out as far as you could and move them around. Then they said that was your space bubble and nobody could pop it unless you told them they could. This is the mindset you need when you enter the pit. If you have to throw some elbows and/or shoulders to maintain your bubble, so be it.

Out-of-body

There is a great meme that depicts Spongebob Squarepants leaving his body and levitating, surrounded by a glowing white light while “Wolves” by Kanye West plays in the background. That is the experience you should aim to have at each concert you attend. If you are not able to look down and see yourself being squished in a crowd of sweaty bodies at any point during the concert, then you did not truly mosh. It is okay if it takes a few tries; everything in life does.

Stank eye

I am not going to lie, this is my favorite. There is not much time to exchange words in the pit, so one must use other tools, primarily body language, to communicate. Perhaps the greatest of said tools is the stank eye. (I know the terminology is a bit outdated, but the act itself has withstood the test of time.) If somebody steps on your toe, bumps you a little too hard or, worst of all, tries to push their way in front of you in a crowd, the stank eye is your best friend.

Have fun

Unpopular opinion check: most mosh pits are actually fun. The only bad experience I have had in a pit was largely my fault. (Bonus tip: do not mosh on an empty stomach.) Go with your friends, make new friends and enjoy the music and overall experience. Part of the fun is forgetting that you are in a mosh pit. Let the music take over you and give in to the moment.

If mosh pits are not for you, the view from outside of the crowd is different, but not necessarily worse. If concerts are not your thing, that’s okay too. If you only take one thing away from this article/acronym/declassified mosh pit survival guide, it should be to stay safe and enjoy yourself at any concerts you attend.

Thumbnail courtesy of Wikimedia Commons