Flaming Lips Forced to Postpone 'Space Bubble' Shows Due to COVID-19 Spike

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips
Simone Joyner/Redferns

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips performs live on stage at O2 Academy Brixton on Jan. 21, 2017 in London.

A month after announcing their pioneering "Space Bubble"concerts in their native Oklahoma City, the Flaming Lips announced on Tuesday (Dec. 1) that they've been forced to postpone the shows until January due to spiking COVID-19 numbers. "Although the Flaming Lips have every confidence in the multitude of measures we are taking to keep you safe at our upcoming Space Bubble Concerts we have decided to postpone the December shows," wrote singer Wayne Coyne in an Instagram post. "The rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the Oklahoma metro area are alarming and we want to keep everyone safe."

The group originally announced a single Dec. 11 show at The Criterion theater in their hometown in which one to three people could buy space inside a large plastic bubble for what was promoted as a COVID-safe concert for a limited audience. The response was so good that Coyne announced a second show on Dec. 10 at the same venue a few days later, which also sold out, with the promise of more shows in January.

However, as health experts warned this week of a "surge superimposed upon" the already surging coronavirus numbers, with infection and death rates setting almost daily records in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, Coyne said the group were taking a cautious approach and moving the Dec. 11 show to Jan. 22 and the Dec. 10 gig to Jan 23, offering fans who can't attend or who've changed their mind a full refund.

Check out the Lips performing "Brother Eye" at the Criterion to a group of 100 bubbled fans last month.