Rock band's clever trick to hold concert during Covid

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

The Flaming Lips have pulled off what many would think is impossible during 2020 and held a concert with fans singing, dancing and standing close together, but they did it with a twist.

The rock band from Oklahoma City, used inflatable human-sized bubbles to keep themselves and their audience safe against Covid-19 while performing live.

The Flaming Lips perform to audience members in bubbles
The Flaming Lips held a concert in Oklahoma City where the band and audience members were in plastic bubbles. Photo: Instagram/waynecoyne5

The band performed last week and had all fans and themselves in individual plastic spheres for the concert, which was also a music video shoot.

The idea came from a sketch doodled by frontman Wayne Coyne when the pandemic first kicked off.


"I did a little drawing... where I drew a picture of The Flaming Lips doing a show in 2019. And I'm the only person in the space bubble, and everybody else is just normal," Wayne told CNN.

"Then (I did another drawing with) The Flaming Lips playing a show in 2020. The exact same scenario, but I'm in a bubble, and so is everybody else."

The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne in a bubble
Bubbles are not a new thing for The Flaming Lips who have been using them for some time, but now they're using them to their advantage during Covid-19. Photo: Getty

Wayne says the idea was more a social commentary on the state of the virus and believed COVID-19 wouldn't last long enough to see the bubble experiment take form.

"I don't think anybody would have thought ... in the middle of March that this is still going to be going, you know, eight months later. I think we all thought this is a month, this is maybe two months, but we're going to get a handle on this," he said.

The band first used the bubbles during a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with about 30 people in bubbles and from there they realised they could actually do a bigger concert.

The bubbles have been part of the Flaming Lips stage shows for some time, so the band was familiar with how they worked.

Flaming Lips perform in bubbles on Jimmy Fallon
The band has been using the bubbles for performances throughout the year. Photo: Getty

They asked fans who were interested in testing out this new live music experience to arrive at the venue between 6:30 and 7pm, however, they had enough people just after 6pm.

The fact people were able to scream and get as excited as they wanted without fear of infecting those around them made the event a success with Wayne saying they could continue doing this and it "would be absolutely safe".

"We, as The Flaming Lips, we like the idea that we are doing something different.... I think it could be cool. It could be fun. And we could all have a, you know, a crazy unique experience," he said.

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