A High School Band Designed A COVID-Safe Way To Bring Back Indoor Practice — And It Kind Of Works

After the live music industry shut down in 2020, The Flaming Lips’ vocalist Wayne Coyne thought up an inventive way to play live shows while keeping the audience safe: giant plastic bubbles. The band has already proved the method successful with a handful of in-person shows earlier this year. Now as schools across the country begin to reopen, one Washington public school is taking inspiration from Coyne’s plastic bubbles.

Eastmont High School in Wenatchee, Washington has been open since the end of January. The school had to find ways to mitigate the risk of possible infections by staggering student’s class schedules and restricting cafeteria tables. But bringing back band indoor band practice was a bigger challenge — until they came up with a clever solution. According to a report from The Wenatchee World, the school’s band teacher has placed a number of bright green individual tents in their room for students to play their instruments in.

Some tents clearly worked better than others, however. The photos show a number of students able to comfortably play instruments within the cramped space. But for one tuba player, it seems like the tent was not quite big enough.

Even still, the school’s principle Eric Anderson is excited for the students to be back in the halls, and he says the kids are equally as happy. “It is amazing the level of energy in the building, having adults interacting with kids but also the conversations of adults to adults,” Anderson said. “You get kids back in the building, you get a lot of smiles even with masks on. You can tell people are happy.”

Check out photos of the COVID-safe band practice above.

The Flaming Lips is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.