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Crowd Surfing

Crowd surfing is a popular concert activity in which a person is passed over the heads of other concertgoers. Crowd surfing begin either with a participant jumping from a height in to the crowd, where they are caught by other concertgoers and passed overhead; or with concertgoers lifting a participant into the air before passing them along the top of the crowd. Crowd surfers may stay aloft for a few seconds or for many minutes, depending on their desires and the size of the crowd. Crowd members keep the surfer in the air by collectively using their arms to distribute the surfer's weight and move them across the top of the crowd. Numerous music venues have banned crowd surfing due to injuries.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Body surfing

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

This activity originated in the 1970s at rock music festivals in the United States, and soon thereafter became a popular activity at concerts worldwide. Crowd surfing was first documented at a concert in Canada in the late-1970s.

Who takes part?

Males and female concertgoers of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Crowd surfing occurs informally at music festivals and concerts in the GTA. It is especially popular at metal, punk, rock, rave, and indie music concerts.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Crowd surfing occurs informally.

Cultural Significance

Crowd surfing is a significant part of a concert experience for many members of various music subcultures, especially metal and punk music enthusiasts.

Is there anything else we should know?



  • The Mod Club
    722 College Street
    Toronto, ON M6G 1C5
  • Phoenix Concert Theatre
    410 Sherbourne Street
    Toronto, ON M5X 1K2
  • Budweiser Stage
    909 Lakeshore Blvd W.
    Toronto, ON M6K 3L3
  • Danforth Music Hall
    147 Danforth Ave
    Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
  • Horseshoe Tavern
    370 Queen Street West
    Toronto, ON M5V 2A2
  • Downsview Park
    35 Carl Hall Rd.
    Toronto, ON M3K 2B6
  • Lee's Palace
    529 Bloor St W
    Toronto, ON M5S 1Y5

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