University Of Alberta Student Writing Thesis On Mosh Pits

According to the Edmonton Journal, a University of Alberta graduate student is writing her thesis on mosh pits for a degree in recreation and leisure studies.

Gabby Riches, 25, a master’s student in the faculty of physical education, describes a mosh pit as a space in front of a stage where a group of fans gather and form a tightly packed crowd. A heavy metal mosh pit involves pushing, shoving and sometimes crowd surfing, whereas a punk mosh pit involves more swinging, jumping and diving. The “circle pit” and the “wall of death” are the two main types of mosh pit.

“Circle pits are most common in Europe. Everyone runs in a circle, and forms sort of a doughnut shape,” Riches said.

“In the wall of death, two groups of people at either end of the floor run at each other, collide and form sort of a solid pit.”

Riches — who also runs a student group called “Heavy Metal On Campus” (see video below) — described moshing as a social experience, something not widely understood or even respected by some.

“At first, moshing can feel intimidating, frightening, because it’s physical and aggressive. It looks violent, but I don’t like to say that because it isn’t.”

Read more from Edmonton Journal.