• Cerys Taylor

About the Crowdkilling Research

Last week I uploaded quite a big post – the biggest I’ve posted to this blog before (which you can read here).

After watching a video of a Jesus Piece set from Outbreak Fest on twitter, I got a bit overly het up (it was like 1am). In the video there is a lot of violent crowdkilling going on, including people punching others in the face and one man lying on the stage, kicking people in the face. Personally, I thought this was crazy, knowing that if I was in that crowd I’d become more occupied with staying safe than enjoying the show. So, I put a load of effort into researching the topic of crowdkilling in the hardcore music scene and I created a survey to delve into people’s thoughts on the topic; because I am a nerd.

I first posted the link to the survey on twitter and Instagram, getting 11 responses, mostly from friends and friends of friends. All of these were pretty similar responses, quite in-depth answers were given, and they were all very nice, polite and helpful. However, they all gave similar responses, probably because all the people were from the same circle, so I needed to broaden my search for answers – I didn’t just want one type of person, that wouldn’t give an accurate representation of all opinions in the scene.

So, I turned to Facebook. I posted the link to my survey in the group “UKHC (Actual Relevant Stuff)”. I thought it might get deleted as it might be deemed not relevant, but it actually boomed. I got 201 more answers to my survey from this – 212 in total - as well as a lot of comments on the Facebook post itself.

Not all of the answers were helpful – I had to remove 7 participants answers as it was clear they were just trolling. Not cool guys, not cool. Saying that, some were quite hilarious to read.

Some answers were not hilarious to read. They were verbally abusive.

I do live a lot on my life on the internet, possibly more than your average teen/millennial/gen Y (whatever). I’ve always been a bit of an oversharer online, but that’s why I like blogging. I’ve previously had a YouTube channel and I tweet a lot, so I’m no stranger to hate comments or internet trolls. None of the answers submitted hurt me in anyway, I just thought I should address this.

Every single person that took part in the survey knew that it was me who would read these answers. Everyone either knew me personally or had access to what is public on my twitter or Facebook, so even if all they knew was my name and my gender, they all knew who I was generally, and that I would be reading all of this.

I addressed the verbally abusive answers at the end of my last post, so if you want to look at those you can here.

I expected some stupid and excessive answers in responses for the survey because it’s anonymous – but what I wasn’t expecting was for people to be so shitty in the comments of the Facebook post in UKHC. A lot of people were taking the piss out of me ‘doing a dissertation/degree on moshing’. I don’t get how people thought I was doing a degree on moshing – that’s definitely not an option for degree. I’m also not doing this for my dissertation, but if I was, what is the problem? It would be a valid topic for any sociology or psychology student – it’s addressing a certain behaviour carried out in a certain social setting. Some people said it had no business being spoken about. Why? The only way we understand or make society better is by professionals exploring behaviour and social settings. This is not to say that hardcore shows need to be changed – but I was still keen to explore it in a way that I’ve not seen publicly published before, mainly for my own better understanding, but also for the colloquial understanding of the scene.

A good lot of these comments were also just rude af. One guy told me this “isn’t relevant” and I should go somewhere else, another said “this is a joke surely?” and another said “This is the dumbest shit I have seen so far on this page”. One even took the survey, then returned to the Facebook post to say “The questions on this survey are dumb af”. Did no one ever tell these people that if they had nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all? Do they not think I’d read it? Are they just assholes trying to look hard? Maybe we’ll never know.

Despite all of this craziness going on in the Facebook post, one girl – a complete stranger – stuck up for me. She even gave me links to news articles that may help me, despite knowing she’d probably get a lot of backlash for it – and she did. She was amazing and really helped me continue to not let these other idiot’s rude comments get to me. Thank you. Girl power – woo!

There were also others wishing me good luck and being super nice about completing the survey. It’s people like these that really restore your faith in humanity!

One of the big comment threads started with a girl saying that crowdkilling put her off going to shows due to being targeted by lads because she, as a female, is an easy target. This was followed by a guy telling her that what she had said was invalid and wrong and that this would never and has never happened. Her response was that he can not invalidate her experience just because he may see it from a different point of view, which I 100% agree with. It doesn’t matter if you have a conflicting opinion, you can’t devaluate someone else’s just because its different to yours.

Lots of people followed this up by devaluating her experience just because they themselves had never experienced it, all genders included. In fact, a few girls became very aggressive over this. All I could think was, what happened to female solidarity? Obviously, if you don’t agree with someone’s opinion you don’t have to stick up for them just because they’re the same gender as you, but you also don’t need to tell her she’s a liar and get aggressive just because you’ve had different experiences. I thought this was totally devaluating female movements such as #metoo and safe gigs for women and all the work they’re putting in to help create a safer world for women. In fact, after this thought, I researched into volunteering for safer gigs for women next festival season.

So, this is what I knew going into analysing the data of the survey. I was very aware of the divide and of the nature of the opinions of those who were likely answering.

I hope you enjoyed reading the stupid, funny comments I got doing this survey! I had some fun going through them despite those who would prefer to try intimidating me into not bothering!

Thanks again to everyone who took part in the survey, and thank YOU for reading this post!


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