Music festivals aren’t just about the melodies and lyrics that reverberate through the air. They’re also about the electrifying energy of the crowd, and what better way to channel that energy than through the art of festival dances? From the intense camaraderie of moshing to the wild frenzy of pogoing, and the organized chaos of circle pits and walls of death, these dance forms are an integral part of the festival experience.
Used to going to concerts in small venues, the first time we went to a big festival, we were amazed with the different variants of ways to…give each other a good hiding. Each one more fun and spectacular. Mosh, pogo, circle pit and wall of death are the main ones we have encountered but because you can combine styles the options are endless.
For those who are as lost as we are, we leave you this explanation.
1.- Moshing: A Physical Manifestation of Music’s Power
At the heart of many heavy music genres, moshing is a dance of intensity and release. It involves a group of enthusiastic individuals coming together in front of the stage, responding to the raw power of the music with their own physical energy. Bodies collide in a controlled chaos, forming a unity that is a testament to the shared connection between the fans and the performers.
This is what all metalheads and punks have done all our lives, pushing, jumping, kicking…some even do acrobatics and pirouettes.
Believe it or not, there is a good vibe in the mosh. You bump into people, you push them…but if someone falls to the ground you pick him up to continue enjoying the blows. So we can talk about violence but with control.
The area where the battles are forged, where the hosts are being managed is also known as mosh, pogo or pit.
2.- Wall of Death: Controlled Chaos
My favorite and probably many people’s favorite. It reminds of movies like Braveheart or Gladiator. While the singer divides the audience in two halves, keeps them waiting, the band warms up the wait with some guitar riff or drum riff and suddenly the music starts to play at full blast then the audience runs to collide with each other like a medieval battle. It is very spectacular and fun.
Especially striking is when you find yourself in the middle of a Wall of Death some daring person waiting at ground zero.
Check out this awesome Wall of Death from Exodus at Wacken.
3.- Circle Pit: Unity in Motion
Another variant to discharge adrenaline. This dance is less aggressive, designed for all audiences, is to run out forming a large circle, gradually the public is joining the race becoming a huge human circle. In front of the Wall Of Death, the Circle Pit is suitable for all audiences.
Sweeping for home, this beautiful Circle Pit of Heaven Shall Burn at Resurrection Fest 2015. It starts with a Wall of Death, followed by a little bit of Mosh and from minute 7 a beautiful Circle Pit.
In another post we will talk about solo “dances”, here we find everything, there is no rule. There are those who make swirls with their heads, play imaginary instruments, mainly guitars, but there are also imaginary drums (I’m more of a bass player, I’m a freak). At a Cannibal Grandpa concert we recorded a scene where you can see a dedicated fan making a…whirlpool of punches…the guy is great, he really animated the concert, you will see what a delivery of strength and aggressiveness. Seriously, with fans like that it must be nice to play live.
4.- Pogoing: Bouncing to the Beat
Pogoing takes the festival dance floor to new heights—literally. This dance involves jumping in time with the music’s rhythm, creating an infectious bounce that spreads through the crowd. Pogoing is an expression of sheer joy and a carefree attitude, as festival-goers let loose and embrace the euphoria of the moment.
The world of music festivals is a realm of exhilaration and liberation, where festival dances like moshing, pogoing, circle pits, and walls of death transform the audience into a pulsating, living extension of the music itself.