The Flaming Lips are the latest band to be bitten by the COVID-19 bug. The psychedelic rock warriors announced over the weekend that their planned New Year’s Eve shows at the underground Caverns in Grundy County, Tennessee
The caverns, which host the Emmy-winning PBS TV series Bluegrass Underground, make use of the natural acoustics in the prehistoric cavern in the Big Mouth Cave, which can accommodate 850 people seated or 1,200 for standing-room shows. The cave concerts take place below the Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater, which was launched as a 1,000-person pandemic venue that has allowed fans to gather in small pods for shows by the likes of Jason Isbell, Jelly Roll, the Mavericks and Margo Price.
The Lips shows will now be performed at the venue on Feb. 19 and 20. “In response to the surge in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant, The Flaming Lips and The Caverns have made the very difficult decision to reschedule the 2-Night New Year’s Underground Celebration in The Caverns planned for 12/30 and 12/31.,” the venue said on Instagram.
“The Flaming Lips and The Caverns are heartbroken to deliver this news, and we know you’re no doubt sad to read it, but the health and safety of guests, staff, crew and everyone on stage is of utmost importance. It’s a tough call to make, and we want to give everyone as much notice as possible. We look forward to ringing in the New Year with you on February 19th and 20th!”
The Lips first rocked the Caverns at their 2018 New Year’s Eve show. The Oklahoma City rockers are just the latest in a long, growing list of bands and festivals that have been forced to cancel or postpone shows due to the rapidly rising rate of COVID infections in the U.S. due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.