Nightlife

Ground control to major festival: Inside the Micrashell protective party suit

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Photo: PRODUCTION CLUB / COURTESY

Is it a scene from Netflix’s Black Mirror? In this cyberpunk paradise of a smoky, neon-tinged bar, the beautiful people are wearing hipster space suits. However, this is not your next binge-watch. It’s an announcement for Micrashell, “a suit that allows you to safely socialize in times of a pandemic,” according to the website of concert and festival producers Production Club.

Is it art? A practical joke? An elaborate wish? Or a real product? Right now, it’s too soon to say. And the creators of Micrashell—the party people behind the Intersect Festival and other nightlife events—have not returned a request for comment.

Parent company Production Club is a self-described “multidisciplinary creative studio specializing in designing and producing immersive experiences.” Their credits include tours by Zedd and The Chainsmokers as well as events for Amazon and YouTube. With no parties to host, it’s only logical Production Club would turn their talents to developing this whimsical prototype.

And because we’re all stuck at home and there’s really nothing better to do than daydream about nightlife, let’s explore the fantasy of the Micrashell together.

Micrashell appears to be a utopian costume born out of our current dystopia. Right now, the best protection available is homemade masks mailed in by family members. (Thank you, Aunt Barbara!) While they’re necessary for a trip to the grocery store, these cotton shields won’t cut it when it comes to returning to the club, a concert or festival. Enter Micrashell, a “virus-shielded, easy to control, fun to wear, disinfectable, fast-to-deploy personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows socializing without distancing.”

So what is it? Imagine a hazmat suit-meets-EDC rave gear. This airtight party pullover features a dizzying combo of safety features, futuristic decor and what might be described as wearable bottle service. Its “top only” design is made to go over normal clothes so that the wearer can “use the toilet and engage in intercourse without being exposed to respiratory risks.” (Note: Obviously, the Micrashell won’t protect against any below-the-belt medical risks. You’ll need another brand of PPE for that.)

We know you want to know more. How can we be so certain of your curious curiosity? Because even your humble nightlife reporter can only scroll social media for so long until the idea of hitting the clubs in a space onesie sounds more appealing than staying at home.

So let’s start with what is arguably the most important part, safety. The suit uses an air ventilation system with the much-desired N95 filter. When not in use, the suit “locks directly onto a docking system to avoid contact with exterior surfaces.”

As for the fun aspects, the Miscrashell offers a full nightclub experience for one. Drink and vape canisters allow for in-suit consumption. The suit’s LED lighting system can be customized to broadcast the wearer’s mood to other partiers. The on-suit camera system records the fun. The suit’s sound system allows you to stream music directly from a band/DJ, or you can just listen to the room outside your bubble. The exterior is built to hold patches, velcro, magnets and hoods for “fashion customization” and “stash pockets." And of course, the entire system integrates with your phone via smartphone app.

Whatever the Micrashell turns out to be, it’s a gorgeous concept and a reason for hope. Now if only the clubs weren’t closed, and Burning Man hadn’t been canceled...

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