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The perils of crowd crust


ogriff
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The recent Wolf Alice gig in Sheffield was my first proper gig where people were dancing and having fun (Laura Marling not really falling under that banner) since a) Covid, b) turning 40.  

With horror, I found that I was old enough that I didn't want to be in midst of the pit, but not old enough that watching all these younguns dancing and bouncing their arses off wasn't giving me energy and alot of joy - so I wanted to stay nearby.

This made me therefore the front line in the crust that forms at various points in such crowds - people build up behind it that are of similar mind, bunched together due to lack of space.  Before you know it, there's an impenetrable barrier (or at least quite a gumpy one) between the fun part and the bar...

Has there been any studies of this phenomenon?  Are there any ways around it?  There's often much more room near the front at Glastonbury than the tightly packed middle-aged crust 20m from the stage would suggest.

What can be done?  And I say that as someone painfully aware he is now part of the problem 😮

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The older I get the further back I want to be.  The idea of being in the think of it now days horrifies me.  Easy access to bars and toilets are a must.  My wife on the other hand loves it near the front and in a mosh pit.  I leave her too it and let her find me at the end.

Edited by Bennykill
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I'm 42 and I still love getting in and amongst it. Its often really difficult to get through 'that crust' (I don't like that term, but I don't have a better description!) to get to the front, especially for an older guy as I guess lots of people assume I just want a better spot in the 'crust'. I don't like to push so it can get awkward, particularly if the people I'm trying to get past aren't experienced gig-goers..

At festival and arena gigs its usually best to go down the side to the front and then across, but it doesn't really work at smaller gigs. So I tend to be patient, wait for it to start and anticipate where the gaps will appear and then dart through!

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Just now, Punksnotdead said:

I thought this thread was going to be about the state of people's pants after 5 days at Glasto! 😄

I came from the other perspective, had just been reading a thread where Neil mentioned his pasties.

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I’m 40 now and can’t be bothered with a pit anymore, problem is because I now stand nearer the back it often means I have a couple of pints during the gig whereas in the old days once a pint was purchased you drank it before the gig started and that was it, nothing else until after, which makes my post gig hangovers much worse!

I know what you mean at Glasto especially for the early evening slots, but I think the only option is to push your way in or if it’s a gig with a pit wait for it to start and move in first song when people realise they are too far forward 

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25 minutes ago, Gingerfish79 said:

I'm 42 and I still love getting in and amongst it. Its often really difficult to get through 'that crust' (I don't like that term, but I don't have a better description!) to get to the front, especially for an older guy as I guess lots of people assume I just want a better spot in the 'crust'. I don't like to push so it can get awkward, particularly if the people I'm trying to get past aren't experienced gig-goers..

At festival and arena gigs its usually best to go down the side to the front and then across, but it doesn't really work at smaller gigs. So I tend to be patient, wait for it to start and anticipate where the gaps will appear and then dart through!

I have no issue with people who want to stick back but some people will just have none of it regardless of age. I have one friend who just gets fed up and pushes through eventually so we all conga line behind him or other young people cutting through till we're 'in'.

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1 hour ago, Bennykill said:

The older I get the further back I want to be.  The idea of being in the think of it now days horrifies me.  Easy access to bars and toilets are a must.  My wife on the other hand loves it near the front and in a mosh pit.  I leave her too it and let her find me at the end.

We were at Sam fender at the Glasgow hydro recently, sitting / standing in the tiered seating area. Below us the front of the standing area was moshing and it looked enthralling. But we are far past the age to enjoy it. It does however bring back great memories of times spent at festivals and gigs such as Sabbath, Zeppelin, AC/DC etc etc. Might sound like a bit of an old fart here but those were real full on mosh pits, in fact the whole audience were involved. The last thing we want to do is discourage it, it’s all part of the experience! 

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My days of being in the pit are long gone. I'm happy to be a crusty these days. Although I think there is some merit at Glastonbury in getting closer to the front for a little more room particularly on the larger stages.

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A better description I find is the "donut"

Present at many a gig  Glastonbury is no exception, often even worse if you are anywhere near the chair people,

But yes.  The phenomenon exists wherein you just join in behind the person in front, not realising the space or you are at the crusts edge.

Its only when you watch the aerial shots back you see the true result. 

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