The Flaming Lips use giant bubbles to enforce social distancing at concert

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Saturday, October 17, 2020
Band makes concert safe with balloons
The Flaming Lips performed to a crowd of people in plastic bubbles on Oct. 12, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The Flaming Lips are taking personal space to a whole new level, with a literal interpretation of "staying in your bubble."

The band performed Monday to a hometown crowd in Oklahoma City with each person inside their own plastic sphere.

This isn't a first for the rock group. They've used the social distancing method before, like last year at the 2019 Bourbon & Beyond Music Festival in Louisville, K.Y. However, frontman Wayne Coyne is usually the only one enclosed.

Coyne spoke of his longtime fascination with the balloons, dating back to 2006, to Brooklyn Vegan.

Coyne said three people can fit inside each balloon and that a venue that can hold 4,000 people would fit about 100 balloons.

"It holds a lot of air. I mean, you can be in there for quite a while," Coyne said. "I just don't think people quite realize what it is as a mechanism. But we've just messed with them for so long, we kind of know that it can all work and how it can work and all that."

The band also shared this pandemic perfect experience when they performed on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in June.

"Yeah, it's a bizarre situation for sure," Coyne said to Brooklyn Vegan. "I mean, I'm not suggesting the whole world should do it this way. I'm just saying the Flaming Lips can try it this way, and if you like our music, you can come see us. You'll have to be in one of these space bubbles, but maybe that'll be a good thing. Maybe that'll be something different."

The Flaming Lips have upcoming tour dates for next winter. Get your bubble ready.