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First Mosh After COVID
via Instagram (@tomdream_director)

This short film anticipates the euphoric return of live music

First Mosh After COVID reflects on the year-long absence of gigs and the incomparable power of the mosh pit

It’s been over a year since the live music industry was put on hold and we’re yearning – somewhat desperate – to feel the euphoria of perspiring bodies gyrating against us. With June 21 in sight, this dream might soon become reality – and, to mark the occasion, a new short film is set to document the UK’s first post-COVID mosh pit.

First Mosh After COVID reflects on the year-long absence of gigs, and pays tribute to the moshing community as they look forward to the long-awaited return of live music. Directed by Margate-based Tom Dream, the film explores the psychology and stories of the mosh pit – a symbol of solidarity toward musicians by hauling their bodies together in momentary anarchy  – and tracks the director as he embarks on his search for the first post-pandemic gig.

“This promises to be more than a film about moshing,” Dream said on Instagram, as he shared the first trailer for the film. “It’s a film about the resilience of the DIY music industry in this country; all the bands, fans, photographers, tour managers, roadies, sound engineers, and independent venues that make the music industry what it is today.”

As well as paying tribute to the haphazard vortex of uncontrollable limbs, the film considers the catastrophic effect that COVID-19 has had on the music industry. With one third of UK musicians considering quitting amid the pandemic and a rise in depression and anxiety across the industry, the devastation has affected performers and fans alike. 

“It’s about what we’ve lost this past year to COVID, and what we’ve been through mentally,” continued Dream. “The science of human touch, the psychology of crowd behaviour, and the impact of isolation on our mental wellbeing and our creativity. We’ll uncover the power of communal alchemy, social and sonic harmony, and that transcendent feeling in the pit, where for one brief moment, many people make a whole.”

Dream hopes First Mosh After COVID will provide an “ode to the awesomeness of the independent music scene in the UK, whilst also capturing the utter joy and catharsis of tracking down the first mosh pit after more than a year of social distancing”.

And while to the seldom gig-goer, a mosh pit might look like a riotous revolution of people at risk of a popped collar bone or two, it’s much more than that - it’s a reminder of our hunger for human intimacy that will eventually return once more.