Words by Brett Pike
Crowdsurfing. It's something I've noticed more and more often at shows these days where it seems just about every Harry/Harriet, Dick/Diana and their dog want to get into. It's been an intergral part of gigs and festivals for years, with myself having done it a bunch of times including the header photo at a Dune Rats show many moons ago. But when does it cross the threshold from a harmless good time to an inconvenience on everyone at the front of the show?
We all know that clossic, iconic rock 'n' roll image in our minds of the lead singer jumping out into the crowd with the microphone, arms spread wide like a new age massiah and gliding effortlessly across the crowd before being returned to stage to finish off their final song leaving the place bursting with energy, electrified. And I have to say it's a hell of a lot of fun. At the right time and during the right song, the planets align and it just works.
Lately however, and somewhat encroaching into our sold out local shows, we are seeing more and more people taking it on themselves to jump up on stage and hurl themselves on top of the front couple of rows in an attempt to achieve the same euphoria or a the minimum, a good story to tell their mates of how gnarly their night was. What I'm about to do is make some points for and against crowdsurfing, and before I do let me just mention I'm an advocate for it, but in the right settings, which we're about to explore.
THE CASE FOR CROWDSURFING
THE CASE AGAINST CROWDSURFING
In the right context, crowdsurfing is warranted and encouraged and can lift a night to the next level. It's all about people having fun and expressing themselves at a show in a way that they find comfortable to them and (relatively) safe to everyone else. But just like everything there is a time and place for it. Maybe, just maybe, and all ages show isn't the perfect place for 5+ early 20s guys to climb up on stage and launch themselves into the crowd.
Just an observation from a guy in the crowd, who loves shows and hates seeing other people get hurt by inconsiderate assholes.