Violence and Music, What causes people to become violent at rock concerts?

Essay by jenmacleanHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2003

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In the year 2000 in Roskilde, Denmark, nine people, all men, lost their lives during a Pearl Jam concert on Roskilde Festival's main stage. A similar situation occured in 1979 in Cincinnati when eleven people were trampled to death in a rush to get good seats at a concert of The Who, and now, just recently, a mob broke out in Vancouver after angry Guns 'n' Roses fans were told that the concert had been cancelled. It makes you wonder what motivates people to cause potential harm to themselves and to others at such social events. For instance, at both the Pearl Jam and The Who's concerts, deaths were caused by the thousands of people rushing toward the stage, trying desperately to get close to the people they want to connect with and become inspired by- the rock stars.

For some reason, it has become an accepted fact that rock shows are supposed to be rough.

Pumped full of adrenaline, concert goers can't wait to get home and show their friends their "war wounds". They leave concerts missing shoes, like my last encounter in the mosh pit, or with bloody noses and dirt all over their clothes, but they also have a certain "glow", and they are full of pride and happiness at the thought of having been so close to their favourite band. They expect something special to happen at these shows, and when that doesn't happen, they like to make something else happen to fill the void in them.

These audiences are also known as "acting crowds". When the audience pushes and rushes to get close to the stage, they have moved from being expressive to being active, all because they are receiving such energy from their favourite band and they want to be closer...