Festival Fever: Girls Of The Pit

by Li Yakira Cohen
Taylor Magazine Minimalist guide to life

Whether or not you are partaking in the festival season this year, you will have at some point in your life come across a variety of different music fans. Some listen deeply to music and don’t understand the lyrics. Some people go to a festival and simply watch. And then there are people who understand the lyrics all too well and can’t physically contain the emotions they stir up. They lash out; they punch, they yell, they run, they kick, they mosh. And where do you find said individuals? The Pit. And no, ‘they’ is not exclusive to the male metal heads of the world.

“There’s some shit that you go through in life that just speaks to you. You listen to this music and you know what they’re saying is legit. So you go out there and know it makes you feel good,” 17-year-old Sab explains.

Sab is a badass chick who just so happens to love getting in the mosh pit. Along with her friend Cris, the two demonstrated just how brutal, and insanely awesome, the pit is. Yes, even for females.

Bruises, scratches, bloody noses and tears filled with indescribable emotion are trophies of the pit. The trophies aren’t limited, but they are subjective. Everyone goes into the pit for the same reason, but leaves with a different prize. Anger is expressed, sadness is unleashed, anxiety is overcome, oppression is ignored, and emotion is felt by all.

Outsiders see moshing as physical aggression; those who understand see it as a release of raw emotion. Rock and alternative music has this way of seeping into your soul. It shoots through your ear canals, jumps through your brain, and settles in the centre of your heart to pump through every vessel in your being. When the music invades your body, it completely takes over and leaves you with a surreal sensation that makes your internal elements go insane.

The energy rush gets to be so intense that it has to have some kind of escape, and that’s when people form mosh pits. The sun beams through their eyes, their sweat soaks their clothes, suppressed angst fills their hearts and the adrenaline finally bursts through. They run around, kicking, punching, shaking, exploding like an atomic bomb.

Moshing is the only way to unleash this intensity that builds up. The need to express isn’t specified to a select few. It doesn’t discriminate in any way, shape, or form, especially against gender.

I saw moshing for the first time at Warped Tour. My friends have always talked about how awesome and exhilarating it is, but I had no idea until I saw it firsthand. The pit is the epitome of diversity, but what intrigued me most was the girls who decided to get in there and rage their hearts out. There wasn’t many of them, but the ones who went in shone with energy and emotion.

People like to think of girls as delicate creatures who can’t withhold any anger or be involved in traditional “manly” activities. Sab and Cris put an end to that idea quickly when they got into the pit. They said they go all out because of the unexplainable adrenaline rush.

“People think that it’s just intense and that guys are the only ones in there. But when you’re in there, and people see how intense you are, nobody cares if you’re a girl or a guy. They’ll treat you just the same and push you just as hard,” Cris said.

Moshing is more than just something these girls do for the hell of it. It’s a special culture that isn’t reckless, as some people see it. It’s raw. Despite the physical brutality that goes on in the pit, the girls explain is as just another way to express themselves.

“You’re getting your energy out. It’s the only place you can go all out without being questioned, without having a problem with anyone,” Sab explained.

Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable with girls being in the pit. Some people say it’s too aggressive, others say it’s just not the place for women. Cris and Sab say that mentality is silly.

“It’s 2016. We’re in a co-ed generation and if you have a problem with people doing the same thing you’re doing, whether you’re a male or female, you have a problem and you need to get your priorities straight,” Sab said. “If you’re a girl and you know you can get in the pit and handle it and get intense, then get in and go all out.”

Cris recalled a time when she fell in the pit. For those who have ever seen a mosh pit, they know exactly how terrifying that must be for the person that fell. People don’t stop running. They don’t stop punching and they don’t stop kicking. The chance of getting seriously hurt goes up tenfold.

“There was this moment when I was in the pit, there was dust everywhere and I fell. I felt someone step on me and I didn’t care. I just got back up and said this is awesome and kept on going… it was amazing,” she said.

When people are in the pit, they’re not throwing punches in an attempt to beat each other up. They go in with an invisible disclosure that people are going to get crazy and let the adrenaline take control of their bodies. The girls of the pit don’t expect anything less.

“The guys go a little easier on us because we’re girls, but they still push us around pretty damn hard,” Cris said.

Naturally, parents would have some concern over their daughters’ safety; there’s no leaving the pit without some kind of injury. For safety’s sake, festival planners ought to consider putting in place things like barriers that can help with crowd control and avoid injuries from occurring – more details on this kind of thing can be found online. For Sab and Cris, they have a verbal contract with their parents that they know what they’re getting themselves into. If they get hurt, they said they don’t cry about it because it was their decision to take part in it. And it was worth it.

“We’re crowd surfing at every stage, head banging to every song, and getting in the pit every chance we get,” Cris said.

Sab continued, “Go mosh. Have fun. Everyone here has a story and they come here to express it.”

Moshing isn’t for everyone and it’s certainly not something people are expected to automatically understand. The one thing people can sympathise with is the fact that moshing is more than something to do at concerts – it’s a culture.

Mosh pits are transferrable states of story expression. When you look into the eyes of the people in the pit, you can’t help but feel their intensity; to get a glimpse of their lives; and to empathise with whatever pain they have in their hearts.

Pain demands to be felt, not ignored. Men feel it, women feel it, and everyone expresses it in their own ways. Mosh pits may not be the most traditional way of understanding your own emotions, but if you ask me, it’s definitely the most bad ass. Mosh on girls. Mosh on.

You may also like

Leave a Comment