COVID-Era 'Space Bubble' Concerts Are A Thing And Let’s Goooooooo

by Erica Gerald Mason
Wayne Coyne Instagram

The Flaming Lips held a concert where everyone (including the band) had their own COVID-safe bubble

Remember in October 2020, when we all said we couldn’t wait for the year to be over because 2021 was going to be our year? First of all, hahahahahahahaha, second of all, 2021 has proven to be even more of a WTF than last year. And so in the same spirit of “anything can happen,” 2021 and Flaming Lips present: an Oklahoma “space bubble” concert experience tailor-made for our times.

Lead singer of The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne posted images from the January 22, 2021 concert on Instagram, and it looks WILD. Both band members and concert-goers were encased in bubbles, while flashing lights, a disco ball, balloons, streamers, with a metric shit-ton of confetti scattered the venue.

After almost a year of sheltering in place, this looks like the fun we need.

Rappler reports there were 100 bubbles, each capable of holding 3 people, max. The BBC explains that each concert bubble came with enough air for at least an hour and 10 minutes, a speaker, a fan, water, a towel to wipe down condensation, and a sign which read “I gotta go pee/It’s hot in here.” The bubble people showed the sign to ushers who would then escort the bubblers to the bathroom (masks on, of course), or pump cool air into the sphere, depending on the circumstance.

Pre-bubble insertion, concert-goers were required to wear masks when they were outside their bubbles, but were allowed to take them off inside the bubble.

The band had a bubble concert last year on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, sort of a practice bubble, if you will. The Flaming Lips have performed in plastic bubble before, but these concerts mark the first time the audience were bubbled up as well.

The Oklahoma concerts appeal to cautious rockers and introverts alike, although the cliche “alone in a crowded room” has never felt so true.

I do have questions, though. Heat and bathroom breaks aside, if you are enclosed in a bubble for hours, that Eternity for Men cologne your hubby wears is going to smell like eternal damnation. People sharing bubbles would also need to insist on a handshake agreement about in-bubble farting or burping.

Once we agreed on those terms though, (no backsies), I’d be in. Anything to get out of the house and feel like I’m part of the world again. Even if I’m encased in plastic.

According to an instructional video posted on the singer’s Instagram feed, at the end of the concert everyone needed to roll their bubbles to the exit door, where they were required to re-attach masks before unzipping and leaving the venue.

“Safety, safety, safety,” Coyne told fans. “But fun too!”

Wild times we’re living in.