The following is an excerpt from: "Can Moshing Be Made Safer?" which originally appeared in the Third Annual Rock Concert Safety Survey Report published by Crowd Management Strategies in February 1995. The moshing guidelines were introduced in 1994 by Paul Wertheimer at the International Association of Assembly Managers' International Crowd Management Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA.

"Paul Wertheimer is like the Ralph Nader of moshing."
--ABC News 20/20
Moshing environments-where people-among other things-slam into each other at pop concerts-can vary in their volatility and crowd mood. They can range from a type of communal chaos "with etiquette", to violent, churning and brawling spectacles played out before approving bands and performers.

Current trends show moshing environments too often are allowed to become places of wanton recklessness and violence. That is why today's mosh pits cannot be guaranteed safe for the people who mosh, or for those on the perimeter of the mosh pit.

"There already is at least one very good, very basic set of guidelines for mosh-pit safety; Paul Wertheimer of Chicago-based Crowd Management Strategies released it in February 1995 as part of CMS' 'Third Annual Rock Concert Safety Survey Report'".
Dave Ferman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
To date, the rock concert industry has done nothing to establish safety guidelines for a problem they have know to exist for years. Instead, the industry has pursued its usual approach to crowd safety problems by blaming fans carte blanche for their injuries. However, music fans, a large segment of whom are minors, cannot be expected to be both spectators and professional crowd safety managers at the same time. The fact is, entertainers, venue operator and promoter, as well as hired security, have as their legal responsibility, the establishment and preservation of a safe environment for patrons who attend their events.

Crowd Management Strategies has studied moshing for two and a half years and developed what it calls "mosher-friendly" guidelines. The founder and head of the firm, Paul Wertheimer has spent more than 48 hours in active mosh pits from Seattle
"Wertheimer, meanwhile, has developed a list of safety guidelines, many of which are used at Kiel [Ampitheater, St. Louis, Missouri]."
Stu Durando, St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
to London and has spoken with scores of fans on the subject. Crowd Management Strategies' mosher-friendly environment can reduce injuries and prevent the needless deaths fans have suffered in mosh pits.

The following "mosher-friendly" techniques, the first of their kind to be formerly put forward, are offered as a point of embarkation for those responsible for establishing safe concert environments for pop fans. These recommendations, in many cases, are relevant for both indoor and outdoor moshing.

Each venue must review its moshing safety procedures in the most serious light. Local safety and enforcement officials should consider allowing moshing only when venues, promoters and performers can prove that substantive precautions have been taken to protect the safety of the public.

The following "mosher-friendly" techniques, if followed, can help to prevent deaths and injuries that can be suffered by fans:
  • Following the National Fire Protection Association's Festival Seating Standards.
  • Isolating the mosh pit from the general audience.
  • Limiting mosh pit capacities.
  • Reducing density is one of the keys to making moshing safer.
  • Banning alcohol and cigarettes in the mosh pit.
  • Stationing special first-aid assistance near the mosh pit.
  • Restricting moshing to those 18 years of age and older (when appropriate).
  • Banning stage diving.
  • Banning body surfing/swimming.
  • Providing specially trained private security and "peer security".
  • Providing special ventilation and drinking fountains for moshers.
  • Padding the floor and all hard surfaces, including barriers and railings.
  • Banning certain types of clothes and accessories worn by moshers in the pit.
  • Mosh pit safety announcements in advance and during shows.
  • Assistance from performers in managing or preventing moshing.

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