Opinionated Metalhead: Mosh Pit-Slamdance Etiquette

If you have never been in a pit you may be unaware of the etiquette that the classy punks and metal-heads live by when entering the wall of death. When simultaneously raging and circling the pit there are a few common sense things to keep in mind.


Do wear clothing you don’t care about. If you are coming to a metal or punk show wearing a Rolex, handmade leather shoes from the Netherlands and a $500 shirt you should not be getting in the pit. Ladies, if you don’t want it getting ripped or broken. don’t wear it in the pit. Expect tears in your jeans , holes in your shirts, your hat to potentially get trampled and covered with beer and dirt and know full well that your feet will get stepped on.

Don’t bring all of your shit into the pit with you. Either finish your drink or have someone hold it before entering along with the entire accessory drawer in your mom’s closet (phone, keys, loose bracelets, wallet, chains, scarves, shades, hoop earrings, etc.)  Beer splattered floors in indoor venues make for lots of slipping and falling during what could be a pretty awesome dance party. It can discourage people from entering or getting back in the mosh.


Do accept challenges from the biggest dude in the pit and try your darndest to knock him the fuck down (within reason). These are usually the big broad shouldered dudes that have already had a good amount of beer. They are ready for the slam dance challenge and will accept almost anyone as a sparring partner.

Don’t make cheap shots or think this is an okay time to grab some tits . This isn’t a pleasure house or a dirty street fight.  Doing either one of these things is a good way to become a target.  If you purposely aim for the balls or face expect the entire pit to descend upon you in a fit of karma fueled rage (I’ve seen this happen). If you accidentally hit someone in the face apologize and make sure they’re okay.


Do stop swirling in the pit every once in a while to head bang and air guitar righteously. When the bass drops in the form of drum solos and guitar riffs this is your opportunity to jam out like you’re on center stage and take a break from raging.  And while you are at it, hold any lost items such as phones, glasses and hats up in the air so the owner can find them (or give them to security).

Don’t go in the pit injured. This is really some common sense. If you get injured in the pit call it a night. Don’t go back in for more.


Do help people up when they fall. Security will shut down pits if people just lay each other out and don’t help them up. Don’t be a shitty fuck.…help them back up. If they are hurt, help them out of the pit to a staff member in the venue if they need it.

Don’t fuck with security. If they kick you out you probably gave them a reason to do so. If you are that person that likes to taunt security, you are an asshole. And I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. You are one of the people that ruins it for everyone else. Knock that shit off.

Do HYDRATE!!!!!! Don’t just down shots and forget about your water. Dehydration is just as dangerous to you in the pit as too much alcohol. whether you are indoors or outside , the pit can get hot real quick. If you are getting light headed or dizzy or your lips are starting to dry up you may need to take a break and drink some H2O. Most places will give ice water for FREE! It can save you from a world of hurt later on.


Don’t take it personal. If someone hits you and you are in or around the pit….Wellllll what the fuck did you think was going to happen in there? Did you want them to take you to dinner first? Close your legs your vag is showing. If you don’t want to be in the pit, move away from it. Some people make the mistake of being stubborn and trying to stay in the same spot but then get pissed every time they get hit by someone.  Move bitch ….get out the way …. the pit is coming … with or without your say.

Most Importantly …DO HAVE A BLAST. There is no greater bond at a show than with the people in the pit. Have fun with it. The pit is not a place to judge or fight. It is an outlet for everyone who wishes to express or expel their inner rage. I’ve made great friends in the pit. I run into people I’ve moshed with at shows all the time that remember me.

***A separate list will be coming soon for Stage Diving / Crowd Surfing***


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