American rock band The Flaming Lips have come up with a creative way to put on live shows in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic - putting themselves and their audience in protective “space bubbles”.
The group performed two concerts over the weekend in Oklahoma, where audience members danced along while enclosed in plastic bubbles.
In pre-show posts, photographer and cameraman Nathan Poppe tweeted pictures of the venue, saying there were 100 bubbles, each capable of holding a maximum of three people.
A little more from Poppe himself (mentioned above) with some details I thought were fun:
I was put in charge of three cameras at the world’s first space bubble concerts with the #FlamingLips at the @criterionokc in downtown Oklahoma City. It was a blast to mask up and shoot with @atriacreative and the Lips video crew over two nights. The venue’s concert floor was a 10 space bubble by 10 space bubble grid.
Each bubble could contain one person or two or maybe three. There was a fancy high frequency supplement speaker inside each bubble as well as a water bottle, a fan, a towel and a “I gotta go pee/hot in here” sign. The rules were pretty straightforward. You could have your mask off inside the space bubble, but it had to go back on if you left the space bubble for a bathroom break.
At the end of the show, people rolled their bubble outside to be let out of their plastic container. If, in fact, it got too hot inside a bubble it got refilled with cool air. How you ask? Leaf blowers, baby. There was also — what I believe to be — the very first space bubble concert marriage proposal.
Leaf blower cooling system, in-bubble speakers to make sure the sound was still solid, a chance to take your mask off & chill at a live concert… ::sigh::…
They already had a little practice for this particular event with a practice bubble show last October & on a recordings for The Late Show & NPR's Tiny Desk. I've followed lead singer Wayne Coyne & the band for a while now on Instagram & they're always doing interesting, funky stuff around OKC, so I wouldn't be that shocked to see them do something like this even without a pandemic rollin' through.
Besides the fear of someone else sneezing in my bubble at max capacity (3) which would gross me out regardless of era, I'd definitely go to something like this. Live comedy & concerts are two of the things I've been missing most since COVID flipped our social lives upside down, so I applaud the creative efforts made to make this happen for the fans.
Here's some more pics from the show:
Here's a video from their practice run in October: