As government officials begin planning how to reopen their states amid the coronavirus pandemic, music fans everywhere are wondering when, if at all, it will be safe to attend concerts again. While drive-in concerts and socially distanced shows, seem like sensible short-term alternatives, one company has taken upon itself to invent a more catch-all solution.
Production Club usually spends its days working on “stages and experiences” for clients in gaming, technology, and music industries. After seeing news reports about people flooding to beaches without proper protection, though, the creative studio began brainstorming ways to help out their communities directly. They came up with the Micrashell, a protective suit people can wear to music festivals and clubs to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — no Wu-Tang Clan hand sanitizer needed.
In an interview with NBC Los Angeles, Miguel Risueno, head of inventions for Production Club, said the Micrashell is “a solution for bringing people together” while still looking out for one another. “It’s a half suit that kind of takes your safety and your security — in terms of being close to airborne particles or viruses — to the next level,” he explained. “We said we still need to find a solution because people are still going out. People are still going to party and still skipping social distance measures… With our solution, we are trying to make space available for everyone because our solution depends on your own footprint rather than distancing yourself.”
A sketch of the Micrashell makes it look like a neon-striped space suit of sorts, like a cross of Buzz Lightyear and Tron. There’s a N95 filter, an air ejection system, a “cell link pouch”, and even snap-in canisters for drinking and vaping. The way they see it, the latter was a necessary inclusion in the product. “It’s another thing you don’t need to remove the helmet for,” explained Risuneo, “because if you remove the helmet and the shield you are now compromised.”
How exactly will the average person afford these? Well, according to Production Club, the ideal setup involves venues purchasing multiple Micrashells, renting them out to patrons, and then sanitizing the suit after its returned. Once a physical prototype is available, they will begin pitching the product around. Check out their promo video for the Micrashell below.
If you’re looking for something a little more subtle and affordable, Consequence of Sound just launched its own capsule of custom face masks.
Experts may be predicting that live concerts won’t return until “fall 2021 at the earliest,” but that didn’t stop Keith Urban from performing a drive-in concert exclusively for first responders or Israelis from staging a music festival to protest their country’s COVID-19 lockdown. If anything, fans are eager to experience live music as soon as possible. Germans started throwing vehicular raves, Florida will host the first-ever drive-in music festival, and EDM artist Marc Rebillet is planning a full tour to serenade people in their cars.