A new personal protective equipment (PPE) suit designed to fulfil the needs of nightlife and live events in the post-COVID-19 era has been launched by a US event production company.

Production Club said the Micrashell, which was founded as a solution to safely allow people to interact in close proximity, would eliminate the need for social distancing at concerts and allow venues to run at full capacity.

The Los Angeles-based firm describes the suit as a “virus-shielded, easy to control, fun to wear, disinfectable, fast to deploy personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows socialising without distancing.”

Currently, the live entertainment and nightlife industries are assessing ways to reopen their businesses in a safe manner, with measures currently focused on limited capacities, basic PPE and entry and exit protocols. However, the question remains over how to handle punters once they are inside a venue.

In addition, many clubs and concert venues have voiced their concerns over opening at reduced capacities as the limited ticket sales would not cover the costs to organise an event.

“We work every day to make beautiful shows and events for big companies and big artists and arenas,” said Production Club head of inventions Miguel Risueño, according to Pollstar.

“We saw that the industry was en masse cancelling or postponing events. It was a very abrupt and scary decision. We said, ‘OK, we have some kind of responsibility here.’”

The Micrashell includes an air filtration and breathing system based on worldwide standard regulations using N95 filters and includes an adjustable ventilation system.

Its live event industry specifics include an NFC pouch for contactless payment and ticketing, and an internal speaker allowing users to toggle audio inputs between performers and the fans around them. The suit also includes a ‘supply system’ that allows concertgoers to drink and vape without removing the head covering.

Risueño added: “When we were designing the thing, we tried to not come up with a lot of science-fiction ideas, even if it doesn’t look like that from the renders.

“In the design process, we tried to come up with ideas that could be ready for production straight away. Something that’s already in the market is going to chop or save a bunch of production period after.”

The company noted that the venture is more for the B2B space and not something individuals will be able to buy online. When fans arrive to their events, they would receive a pre-sterilised suit and would return it after the show.

Production Club co-founder Corey Johnson, now head of special projects, explained that Micrashell suits would be up-front investments for venues and promoters, but their cost would be offset by the revenue reaped from larger crowds.

Risueño concluded: “For tens of thousands of years we have been person-to-person communicating and socialising,

“It is in our blood, the fact that you need to be face-to-face, that you need to physically experience the music in a way that you have the bass kicking you in the stomach.”

Images: Production Club