What is Crowd Surfing?

Crowd surfing is a common occurrence at rock concerts.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2014
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Crowd surfing is the name given to the activity of a person being lifted up and propelled by audience members' hands to move across the crowd over their heads. Crowd surfing typically occurs at rock or punk concerts. Sometimes, the crowd surfer is a performer, but many times it is an audience member.

Those who engage in crowd surfing, either by surfing or by helping others to surf, run many risks. Crowd surfing is illegal in some countries and not well tolerated in others. Even if it is legal, concert security often still has the right to throw crowd surfers out of the concert. People helping crowd surfers can accidentally get kicked in the face or harmed by rough or sharp pieces of clothing or accessories. The crowd surfer runs the risk of being groped sexually or hit aggressively.

Jewelery and other items may be lost or stolen while crowd surfing. Sometimes, the crowd may remove one or both of the surfer's shoes, especially if there is a strong potential of being badly kicked. If a crowd surfer falls, he or she can receive injuries as well as cause them to others. For those willing to take the risks of crowd surfing, they should wear softer shoes that are securely fastened and clothing without large zippers and rough belt buckles. Money and valuables should be left with a trusted friend or left at home.


The most difficult part of crowd surfing is getting up into the crowd. It's difficult to do that alone unless you can jump from the stage. Two taller people can help if they allow you to lift yourself up to their shoulders. The crowd is then likely to see you and be prepared to help you crowd surf. It's never a good idea to try crowd surfing if the crowd doesn't seem friendly about the idea or if you’re a heavy person!

Crowd surfing after the concert is over is also not a good idea because people may not want to help you just to get you to the exit door faster. Crowd surfing is always done at your own risk. It should never be thought of as just harmless fun. Since crowd surfing is usually done in the center of the audience, those who wish to avoid it are probably best to stay near the edges of the concert hall or auditorium.


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