The Handbook
The Handbook

As policy-makers are keen on morosely repeating, this virus is going to be with us for a while. Which means that we need to start re-thinking how we ‘do life’. We now wear masks to pop down the shops, we only meet in groups of six or fewer, nowadays we waggle our elbows to say hello. And now it looks like we may all be gigging in plastic bubbles.

Over in America, where the the pandemic is raging but where the politics is too, for some reason someone allowed a Flaming Lips gig to go ahead. Except this was a concert with a difference and the madcap result may be a model for all of us.

The Oklahoma City event has been touted as a dry run for the gigs of the future and involved 100 inflatable plastic orbs, each containing a gig-goer.

The idea is simple, that each hermetically sealed music lover posed little or no threat to other audience members. Plus, it looks like completley awesome fun.

Speaking to CNN, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne said “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”

Before going on to explain “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 gig in the Grammy-Award-winning band’s US hometown was attended by 100 fans, and the band also zorbed-up for the session, which was part concert and part music video filming. But the event will be watched keenly by fans and concert organisers alike, keen to return to live music events and bands anxious to get back on tour.

There are, of course, some drawbacks. How do you go to the bathroom? What if you don’t get to the bathroom in time and you vomit (or worse) in your orb? Will it slosh around, catching you in the eye and getting stuck in your hair for the duration of the rest of the gig? What if it pops? How will people buy drugs? SO many questions.

What if you vomit?

But still, if you’d told us at New Year we’d all be wearing masks nobody would’ve believed you. And if you told me now that 2021 Glastonbury would look like a bubblewrap factory, I’d have the same reaction.


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