They’re often portrayed as wild and chaotic, but it seems that heavy metal fans are more controlled than we think.
A new study has found that heavy metal fans follow strict rules of etiquette, which they pass on to the next generation.
Researchers from University College London looked at the significance of heavy metal concerts on both the audience and the musicians.
They found that the genre of music is culturally inclusive with a rich and varied audience – including many women and older adults.
In particular, the researchers found that older generations of metal fans pass on ‘mosh pit etiquette’ to younger generations, to make sure concerts have an environment of ‘controlled chaos.’
Ms Lindsay Bishop, who led the study, said: “Mosh pits, crowd surfing, circle pits – in an abstract sense epitomise the metal community.
“The older generations teach mosh pit etiquette and newcomers learn that moshing is not a fight, it’s a way to release tension and often create lasting bonds with people.
“Metal culture doesn’t have a history of aggression towards mainstream culture that, for example, punk has become synonymous for. In metal culture, aggression is released through catharsis within the crowd.”
The researchers hope their findings will change the public perception of heavy metal fans.
Ms Bishop added: “While there’s been a steady increase in women among the metal community, there is still a perception issue that might give young girls and women the impression it’s not for them.
“When in fact women all over world are part of the metal community, notably in the South African country of Botswana, there is a community of ‘Botswana Queens’ that are smashing gender stereotypes through metal music.”