Mosh Covenant: Let’s bolster against stress and pass down bodily survival knowledge.

Mosh pit dancing is an exultant way to group stim and pass along the bodily survival knowledge of stim dancing and deep pressure input.

Wall of death pit at a HateWaker show
Video credit: Diego Ryza
Home » Covenant: Live Your Truth; Shred Some Gnar » Mosh Covenant: Let’s bolster against stress and pass down bodily survival knowledge.

Let’s bolster against stress and pass down bodily survival knowledge.

…flamenco is in itself a ballistic activity with its own built-in reward system that can then bolster the brain against traumatic stress.

…not only can traumatic knowledge be passed down, so can bodily survival knowledge-knowledge about how to survive the debilitating effects and symptoms of PTSD.

If your “threat to life” responses are being re-associated on a regular basis with flamenco responses, slowly, like polishing stone, flamenco has the potential to be an asset for people who are working through PTSD.

Because We Have To: Flamenco as Survival Strategy against Detrimental Effects of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder
@torktorktork

tragically, i could not make the captions work #stimdance #somaticmovement

♬ original sound – tork
@agonyautie1

Stim Dancing; for centuries our Neurotype has been perceived as possessed by the devil, for moving & regulating in this way Our autistic ancestors were instinctively & intuitively regulating their nervous systems but with severe consequences for deviating from the norm #stimdance #stimming #nervoussystemregulation #stim #autisticancestors #autisticancestory #autismawareness #autism #autismo #autistic #autisticadult #actuallyautistic #actuallyautistictiktoks #movement #movementismedicine #movementculture #estaticdance #neurodivergent #neurodiverse #neurodiversity

♬ No Talk – River Tiber

sensory pleasure (which could be viewed as almost the opposite feeling to anxiety) can be one of the richest, most delightful experiences known to the autistic population – and should be encouraged at any appropriate opportunity.

Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children: A Guide for Autistic Wellbeing 

Let’s get unapologetically, autistically, kinetically wild.

Black and white photo of The Bobby Lees performing live on stage with the lead singer captured mid head swing with hair flying.
The Bobby Lees performing live on stage with the lead singer captured mid head swing with hair flying. Image Credit: Kyle Duce

This is Pure stim music
3 seconds in, I lost my shit and straight into head banging

A Neurodivergent Crip on Hearing The Bobby Lees
Monkey Mind
It's just my monkey mind
Monkey Mind
It's just my

I take him out, and then I sit him down
I look him in the eye, and say no more
monkeying around
Now you look-y here, you gonna leave me
alone
Cause there's no room here for a little
monkey in my home

Monkey Mind
It's just my monkey mind
Monkey Mind
It's just my

That monkey mind, he likes to eat himself alive
Think he's done, and then he takes another bite
Now see, I gotta learn to be kind
To my monkey mind, cause he'll be with me till I die

Monkey Mind
It's just my monkey mind
Monkey Mind
It's just my

Monkey Mind by The Bobby Lees
13 people posed on a sidewalk in front a green and yellow van with the word "Vancerts" on it.
The Bobby Lees, Forty Feet Tall, Vancerts, Cryptic Creative, and Stimpunks

Let’s get vestibular, safely, with some mosh etiquette.

Rule 1: Pay attention if someone falls

Seriously, we can not stress this one enough. A mosh pit can be a dangerous place, especially for someone who’s fallen on the ground. When there’s a lot of shoving, unsteady footing can be almost guaranteed. Unfortunately, so can falls, especially if the ground is uneven or slippery.

The bottom line: pick someone up if they fall. Try to make enough room around them and give a hand to help them up. If they look seriously injured, get them out of the pit and assess if they need to go to the medical staff.

Rule 2: It’s not a fight

A mosh pit allows you to release some aggression because the music gets you hyped, not because you want to fight. It’s hard to not get a bit riled up when Throwin’ Elbows or Prison Riot get dropped, but you should still be aware of how you make contact with others.

Be conscious of your surroundings and your movements and avoid letting your limbs flail too much and potentially into someone’s face. If by some chance you catch a stray limb, don’t take it personally, chances are it was a mistake. If someone else catches a stray limb of yours, be sure to check on the person.

Generally people are pretty forgiving, so long as you’re not clearly trying to harm someone. Just be mindful of your hands.

Rule 3: Not everyone wants to be in the pit

Understanding that a pit isn’t for everyone also cannot be stressed enough. Much like a tornado, a mosh pit can spring up unexpectedly and take everything in its path with it.

Rule 4: Take in only what you need

Although it’s a good practice in general at music festivals, keep your things secured to you especially when jumping into a pit. Buckle down backpacks, zip up your pockets, and take off jewelry or things that can dangle like perler necklaces. This is also a good way to avoid getting your valuables swiped, which has been an increasingly common problem at festivals.

If there’s one thing to avoid: bringing drinks into the pit. If you’ve got a plastic one in your hand, just hang onto it and don’t let go. But bringing glass or other drinks that could break and hurt someone is a no go. And definitely don’t throw anything: garbage, drinks, etc. are just a bad look.

Rule 5: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The governing body of a seemingly disorderly mosh pit is, unmistakably, respect. Everything we’ve covered up to this circles back to respecting either yourself, others, and even the venue. It’s key for both those in and out of the pit to respect both personal space and personal safety. Remembering that a mosh pit is not a place to cause people harm but a place to have some fun and let out a little rage.

Headbanger 101: Mosh Pit Etiquette and How to Make It out Alive

1) Pick ’em up when they fall – What it says on the label. When someone falls down, you pick ‘em up before doing anything else.

2) Hold lost items over your head – If you find someone’s lost phone, shoe, watch, glasses or wallet on the floor, hold it over your head and walk around or through the pit so they can find it.

3) No punching, choking, or fighting in general – That shit is how cops get called and venues get closed. Take it outside, champ.

3) Don’t shove someone into the pit who doesn’t want to go – Don’t be an asshole. If you want a better line of sight, move.

4) Karate gets what karate gives – Yeah, you can do several spin-kicks and chop your hands all over the place, but don’t get upset when you get slammed by the huge dude who is sick of you.

5) Don’t crowd-kill – Crowd-killing is when you wile out on the people at the edges of the pit to get them involved. Leave the innocent bystanders alone.

6) Nazis, bullies, and gropers are cruising for an abusing – If you’re here to throw the Heil, beat on someone smaller than you, or cop a feel, you’re begging someone to murder you with a crowbar. 

How To Mosh: Every Move You Must Know | Kerrang!

There are so many unexpected movements that live inside my body. So many different shapes and motions that never get to come out during day to day life. There’s something so liberating about being able to explore all of these things I didn’t even know lived inside me.

torktorktork

Let’s bliss.

It’s important to highlight Autistic sensory euphoria, because mainstream presentations of Autism are deficit-based. Sensory bliss shows that the sensory experiences of Autistics may be challenging but also wonderful.

Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Sensory euphoria/bliss occurs when one or more of the body’s eight senses* experiences positive hyperstimulation. Instead of going through overwhelm, meltdowns, & shutdowns of overload, the result of sensory bliss might be exhilaration, full-body tingling, & happy stimming.

Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Stimming is beautiful.

Woman crowdsurfing in a mosh pit
“Mosh Pit” “Crowd Surfing” by Ted Van Pelt

If I had a kid I’d rather have them go to a punk show than playing a football game, in terms of violence.

There’s a lot of cooperation that goes on in … a punk show when there’s stage diving and skanking, which there’s slam dancing as it’s called on the East Coast.

I mean, kids help each other out. Someone falls down, and they pick him up. It looks like a riot, but they’re not fighting.

Phil Donahue punk show 1984 part 2 – YouTube

So it’s a communal experience. It’s physical, it’s consensual, physical contact.

We mosh because artists want to see us active and give back to them the feelings, the emotion they’re trying to communicate with us, with their music.

“They’re not out there to hurt each other they’re out there getting their aggressions out. I mean they got a lot of pent up angers and hates and frustrations and a lot of things about the world that piss em off and it’s just a release.”

A Crowd Safety Expert Explains Why People Mosh | Genius News – YouTube

…movement is everywhere in the brain…

Even Simple Motions Make Ripples Across Brain – Neuroscience News

Pit Energy

Another thing to note is the different types of pits. You can find push pits, Hardcore pits, hybrid pits, circle pits, Wall Of Death.

Push pits is just pushing to make space, but being constricted, with some jumping. They are what most people think of when they think of a “mosh pit”

Hardcore pits have hardcore dancing and usually less contact due to risk of injury, but are only really seen at Hardcore, Meatalcore, Deathcore, and Grind shows.

Hybrid pits are a mix of both, with hardcore dancing (Sometimes with high amounts of contact) in sparse parts, and more involved pushing in populated parts. Common moves here include shoulder and hip slams, pushing, and modified hardcore dance moves being used at low intensity to push. Sometimes people will toss each other in these pits, but that is mainly at more extreme shows. In extreme metal, and metalcore these pits are the most common. They are my favorite type of pit.

Circle pits are when any pit starts running in a circle, with an eye. They can look different depending on the show, but always have a section in the middle that is different, or empty. They are most common at metalcore, death metal, deathcore, and grind shows.

Walls Of Death are when any pit splits in two separate pits, and then comes back together, weaving into the opposing side, and resuming moshing as usual. They are seen at most extreme metal and punk shows.

Circle pit erupts at 1:31
Circle pit
Wall of death pit
Wall of death pit
Huge circle pit

Making Spaces Safer: You can’t just open the door; you have to put out a welcome mat.

The reality is that marginalized people experience discrimination in public spaces. As they move through their lives and through various spaces, they cannot predict if they will be treated with respect, let alone if they will be safe. When they attend a show or event at your space, they should be able to know what to expect, or at least what you intend to have happen—and not happen—within your walls. So, how can you let them know? You can’t just open the door; you have to put out a welcome mat.

Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather

Of course, making safer spaces is more than a checklist. You have to think both holistically and specifically. For instance, don’t overlook the little things that make up the overall feel of your space.

Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather

We have detailed accessibility checklists and recommendations in our course “Enable Dignity: The Accommodations for Natural Human Variation Should Be Mutual“, but for this piece we reduce down to five things you can learn and do to welcome all bodyminds to your learning event.

  • Create real access pages.
  • Create Cavendish Space with caves, campfires, and watering holes.
  • Provide interaction badges.
  • Offer bodymind affirmations and provide outlets for stimming, pacing, fidgeting, and retreating.
  • Ensure there is quiet space and outdoor space that people can access at any time.
Five Ways to Welcome All Bodyminds to Your Learning Event

The accommodations for natural human variation should be mutual.

@LAURENANCONA

When the Stimpunks community helps put on a show, we do so in the spirit of collaboration and iteration. We want to be a helping hand, not a wagging finger, as artists and venues help us build more inclusive and accessible events and spaces, as a community.

Accessibility is a collective process!

Riah Person

For details on how we run events, check out our Events Field Guide.

General Do’s & Don’ts for Interacting with Disabled People

  1. Do yield to people with mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes). 
  2. Do not touch, lean on or push anyone’s mobility equipment.
  3. Do not bend down to talk to someone in a wheelchair. If you find it difficult to maintain the conversation, pull up a chair.
  4. Do ask before you try to assist someone. What you assume is helpful may not be.
  5. Do speak directly to a disabled person (not the ASL interpreter, personal care assistant, etc.). 
  6. Do not pet, feed, or otherwise distract a service dog. Please approach their handler before interacting.

Source: Accessibility Services — Midwest FurFest

Don’t Be TRAAAAASH

Our contributor covenant applies at our events.

Don’t be TRAAAASH (Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Abusive, Anti-Black, Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Semitic, Sexist, Homophobic).

Don't Be TRAAAAASH Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Abusive, Anti-Black, Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Semitic, Sexist, Homophobic
#DontBeTRAAAASH

Appropriate Space: Volunteer-Run Community Space

The spaces where we belong do not exist. We build them with radical love and revolutionary liberation.

Gayatri Sethi, Unbelonging

Two of the most important developments that began in the 1990s, and continue to thrive today, are the staging of house shows and the establishment of volunteer-run community spaces. Both materialize DIY in important ways, but each has a unique historical trajectory.

In the face of such struggles, the creation of house spaces, volunteer-run spaces, and other punk- specific locations truly materialize DIY in powerful ways that also model what it means and feels like to do DIY together.

The emergence of the house as a DIY venue explicitly and implicitly challenges conceptions of the home as cut off from public life. Houses are transformed from somewhat isolated private spheres to pseudo-public spaces when punks decide to host shows in their homes. House show spaces are now standard locations for punk shows and are considered important options for DIY punk bands touring the U.S.; however, this contemporary awareness among punks that houses can function as venues did not develop uniformly. The contemporary DIY touring network is very much a product of efforts made in the 1980s but shifted and changed throughout the 1990s because of some limitations with the more common spaces used for shows during the ‘80s. Punk bands have played at houses since the music began.

Underground: The Subterranean Culture of DIY Punk Shows | Microcosm Publishing

There is, however, a major difference between these other uses of the home for collective music experiences and punk house shows. The people who live in the house and book the shows are enacting a DIY philosophy and politics, as are the bands that play and many of the people in attendance. The home space has in effect been appropriated to shift from a container for standard domestic practices to a pseudo-public place that offers an alternative venue option for many DIY punk bands that are often excluded from more official (or legitimate) live music venues.

Underground: The Subterranean Culture of DIY Punk Shows | Microcosm Publishing
Do you ever feel unsafe?
Do you wanna take up space?

Do you (Take up space)
Wanna? (Take up space)
Do you
Oh, do you wanna?
Ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh
Sha-la-la-la-la

--Take Up Space by Dream Nails

Further reading,