Reader Mailbag: A Victim of Crowd Killing (Physical Abuse) Speaks Up


This is the very subjective and by no means scientific definition of crowd killing according to Urban Dictionary:

When at a hardcore/metalcore show someone hardcore dances along the the boarder of the mosh pit with the intent of hitting the crowd. Crowd killers apparently believe that it is not hardcore to not participate in dancing when at hardcore shows. Ironically crowd killer toughness is questionable (it would be socially unnacceptable for a member of the crowd who hasn’t been hardcore dancing to begin throwing kicks, punches, ect. in defense when approached by crowd killers) as they frequently hit unsuspecting crowd members who (if aware of the strike) in the context of one on one (in some cases) could stand their ground and drop that sucka. Crowd killers (as they can be called?) often target who they plan to hit and typically go after “emo kids” and/or “scene kids”.

A bit verbose and rambling, sure, but it gets the point across: if you’ve been to enough metal shows, you have certainly witnessed this kind of behavior.

MetalSucks reader Julius P. emailed us to share a recent experience with crowd killing that resulted in a dislocated knee and damaged meniscus, requiring a lengthy recovery process. Read his email below, then share your thoughts on crowd killing the comments.

I attended the Chelsea Grin concert on the 24th of February this year in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At the concert I got kicked in the knee by a “crowd killer.” It was not accidental. I could feel the force that the kick hit me with, and it was both with accuracy and with force, hitting my knee sideways. It resulted in me getting the knee dislocated and it led to a damaged meniscus. It was the single most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

There were no security guards at the front or in the back who saw me getting hurt and no one else seemed to be bothered either. I talked to one security guard who was by the wardrobe outside of the concert hall, who said, “We can’t do anything, you don’t know who kicked you and the police won’t do anything either.” The whole situation seemed to be taken very lightly, and it makes me very upset. I had to go home and couldn’t see the rest of the concert.

Luckily I didn’t have to go to the emergency room but my doctor told me a few days after the concert that I was very lucky that I didn’t have the whole knee with the cruciate ligament ripped apart. I “only” had the meniscus damaged.

HOWEVER the damage meant I could barely walk for the following month without having to stop and rest; like an old man I was very weak in my knee and leg. I couldn’t work or do anything physical at all month. I can’t go skateboarding, wakeboarding or do any other sport since I got my knee damaged because of this random act of violence. It has made me very sad because skateboarding is very important to me and a big part of my life.

IT COSTS SOCIETY a large amount of money because I have to go to the hospital and I have to go to the physiotherapist for a long time. This is another important factor with this “crowd killing” issue!

I am now contacting you because I am still recovering and I am still very upset by what happened. I think it’s very important to take this issue seriously with “crowd killing” (=physical abuse).

The argument “don’t go to the pit if you can’t handle the mosh” is irrelevant. I don’t go to a concert for fighting; it’s not an MMA-ring. I didn’t do anyone any harm or threaten anyone, I just went to have a good time and listen to good music with like-minded people. It feels like some of these physical abusers (crowd killers) have this excuse to bully and level physical abuse on others since they can get away with it because “that’s just how it is now”.

Another thing: the bands are in a way responsible for crowd killing, because they are accepting the bullying and physical abuse that is going on in the crowd if they don’t do anything about it. They have to take a stand, call people out and stop playing if people are getting abused at their concert. It is also the whole metal community’s responsibility to take a stand against physical abuse. Last but not least, the venues that have these events and concerts have to make sure that none of their guests are being physically abused during their events.

I have sent you the pictures of my knees after the concert; the left knee is the damaged one that is a bit swollen. It is swollen because of the damaged meniscus, although you can’t see that it is dislocated in the pictures (I didn’t bring up my camera when I got kicked in the moment during the concert).

Everyone should be able to go to a concert without getting physically abused. If this problem with crowd killing at concerts doesn’t go away, the scene is going to suffer. People who are joining the community will be less tempted to go to concerts if they are risking physical abuse. Crowd killing creates a very bad reputation for the metal scene. Physical abuse is never accepted anywhere else, so why would it be accepted during a concert? The answer is it shouldn’t.

What do you think? What can be done about crowd killing at shows going forward?

crowd killing

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