Back in November, The Flaming Lips announced that they would perform “the world’s first space bubble concert,” complete with individual bubbles for attendees, in their native Oklahoma City. Now, following a roughly month-long delay, the unique gig has gone off without a hitch.
Building upon the knowledge and logistical insight that they obtained by offering a test space bubble concert in October, The Flaming Lips – who were enthusiastic about space bubbles long before the COVID-19 pandemic – welcomed fans to this inaugural space bubble show on Friday, January 22nd, from the Criterion Ballroom in Oklahoma City. (A second performance followed on Saturday the 23rd.) Ticketholders quickly uploaded footage of the sold-out happening, including its multifaceted entry process, to social media.
In one such clip, a pre-recorded message, playing overhead, informs attendees that they would be required to wear a mask when navigating to or exiting the plastic structures. PPE-clad staff were on hand to set guests up in their socially distanced bubbles – in part by inflating the units, which footage reveals remained without air until their occupants arrived.
To exit the bubble and use the restroom during the gig, fans had to contact event employees (seemingly via a “blue dot” high-frequency alert system) and hold up a sign apprising them of the situation. The show itself featured no shortage of confetti, flashing lights, and balloons, including one, held proudly by Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, spelling out “F—K YOU COVID19.”
Equally as noteworthy as the space bubble concerts’ success is that many (non-Oklahoman) social-media users are expressing a desire to attend similar shows. Though fan responses to the performances’ initial announcement were generally positive, clips from the event appear to have spurred additional interest in space bubble gigs.
“This is amazing. Come to Jacksonville Florida so I can see live music again,” penned one Instagram user.
“Are there going to be any more of these shows?!” inquired another individual.
“Please come to CO with this. … I need a concert so bad,” stated a different fan yet.
“Thank you so much to everyone who made it happen! It was phenomenal and well worth the trip from Chicago! Until next time,” wrote a final Flaming Lips supporter.
Most live-music execs are anticipating a full-scale return of concerts and music festivals in 2021, and the continued distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as positive results from recent coronavirus studies, appears to play well for the timetable. However, Glastonbury and Ultra Music Festival canceled their 2021 editions last week due to COVID-19 concerns, and Halsey called off the remaining stops on her Manic World Tour for the same reason.