Boston Concussion Victim Speaks Out Against City's Moshing Ban
Published Apr 04, 2012In February, a Flogging Molly show in Boston turned sour when John Wayne Swayze, a local punk singer and fan, was knocked over and got a concussion in a mosh pit. Since then, the city has attempted to crack down on slam-dancing.
As reported in the Boston Herald, the city is working hard to stop moshing from happening at all.
"Dancing is a First Amendment right, but the behaviour itself is a violation, especially when it becomes dangerous and a public safety hazard," said Boston police spokeswoman Nicole Grant.
The city has ordered the House of Blues venue that hosted the Flogging Molly show to post illuminated signs that read "No Moshing" after cops cited them for a licence violation by allowing the violent dancing to take place.
Now, however, the injured mosher has spoken out against the ruling in a new interview. Talking to Punk Rock Pravda [via Punknews], Swayze explained that he doesn't think the city's attempts will do anything to stop kids from getting wild in the pit. Here's his statement:
They're not going to stop people from slam dancing, moshing, or whatever the hell they're scared of. We want to be there. We choose to spend our money on a ticket and then walk right into that pit of people slamming their bodies into each other. So if we can't do it in Boston then we're just gonna do it somewhere else. No one is being saved by this, Boston is just asking people to stop pumping money into their clubs. [Small clubs not enforcing it] is exactly how I think it should be handled. Let the venues decide how much they're willing to tolerate. I feel like most venues that are willing to host aggressive shows understand what they're getting.
Still, that's not to say that he hasn't gone through quite the injury, as he explains:
It's over a month later, and I'm still not recovered, it took a whole month before I could make it back to school. There were a couple weeks where I just couldn't really walk properly. One of the doctors I saw thinks that something was just fucked with the brain circuitry that controlled my legs. I still have to deal with near constant headaches and even this interview is making me a bit disoriented, like my head just ain't all there. But shit happens and hopefully everything will get better.
The controversial moshing crackdown has drawn the ire of many musicians, with Boston local and Unearth frontman Trevor Phipps telling the Boston Herald, "This new anti-moshing policy proves once again that the city of Boston hates heavy music. It's disheartening and maddening to know your hometown doesn't support or understand your music scene."