Though it looked a little different than previous years, All Access Staging was honored to provide the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show stage. The test at hand was delivering the spectacular (COVID-safe) show that the world expected.
Though it looked a little different than previous years, All Access Staging was honored to provide the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show stage. The test at hand was delivering the spectacular (COVID-safe) show that the world expects.
MAKING HALFTIME HAPPEN
Normally – in pre-pandemic times – our team takes on the challenge of designing an enormous set that can be set up in mere minutes (during a commercial break!). On a football field, no less. The crew required to make this happen was not feasible while maintaining proper social distancing.
This year, the show didn’t have to take place center stage (or field, in this case). Though the performance still utilized the field, the stage was situated in the north concourse of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Instead of minutes, our team had several weeks to install the fixed theatrical system.
Moving the set into the stands created new obstacles from a staging standpoint — going from public-accessible to show-ready in a matter of minutes. We had to design the set around two main fire exits that had to remain open at all times besides showtime, along with food, drink, and restroom locations that also had to remain open.
WHAT WE PROVIDED
When you’re not constrained by time and space (pandemic perk!), the Weeknd’s set could be larger than life. About six times larger. And utilizing 22 semi trucks.
The sizable sub-stage measured 110 by 48 by 4 feet. The multitiered choir platform measured 100 by 22 by 18 feet and weighed nearly 80,000 pounds, including scenery, lighting, people, and effects. The platform split in half to reveal the Weeknd surrounded by more than 4,000 LED bulbs. The platform needed to split 48 inches on each side to create an 8-foot opening (along with other moves during the show), so we used a computerized automated control with a rack and pinion system; lighting, audio, pyro, and other items were easily integrated into the internal structure.
We also provided the grid system that supported the 100 by 24-foot video screen, lighting, and pyrotechnics. Additionally, we provided 18 scissor lifts positioned around the perimeter of the field that raised the audio cabinets from 2 feet to 7 feet, which were raised just after the second quarter and lowered after the show. Another unique feature of the set was the infinity room full of mirrors and more than 5,000 incandescent bulbs.
With the global pandemic affecting nearly every corner of the entertainment industry, we were thrilled to make this year’s show possible. Fewer crew members worked on the show, and we were careful to adhere to COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of everyone, including social distancing, masking, frequent testing, and other safety steps. With the rapidly changing guidelines, we often had to make snap decisions when we would normally have more time to plan.
Many thanks to
- Bruce Rodgers and Tribe, Inc.
- DPS and Dave Meyers
- Desiree Perez and Roc Nation
- Es Devlin and The Weeknd’s team
- Tait and Atomic for their support
- The whole All Access team