All Access was honored to provide the set and staging for the Super Bowl Halftime Show for the twelfth year in a row. This year, we had home field advantage. SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca., was just a short drive from our headquarters in Torrance.
A Team Effort
Like every year, the Super Bowl LVI halftime show was all hands-on-deck for our team. It was a hugely collaborative design, and as always, it was a group effort by every department – technical design, electromechanical, special projects, fabrication, project management, sales, and rentals. However, we want to give a huge shoutout to our team in the shop, who worked tirelessly on this project, sacrificing holidays, weekends, and free time. We were stretched, but our team nailed it.
SoFi Stadium’s accessible location helped our fabrication and design process — we didn’t have to design in as many shipping breaks. However, this presented its own logistical challenge in transporting these large units from our shop to rehearsals and then down into the stadium.
WHAT WE PROVIDED
The set design required huge custom carts — the largest ones were the size of a bus. Our team had to design the bulky carts to fit into the entrance tunnel and then safely down the quarter-mile long ramp into the stadium while navigating concessions, TV trucks, VIP areas, and security.
With all Super Bowl halftime shows, our team has the challenge of building a massive set on a football field quickly without damaging the turf or grass. We have developed a special cart system with pneumatic tires, designed specifically to roll over natural grass and turf fields in a short amount of time without impacting the playing surfaces.
This year was no different; however, the set pieces and carts were larger. Therefore, more caution was taken to protect SoFi Stadium’s brand-new turf. We worked with the NFL to design the carts to safely distribute the loads on these extra-large carts to keep the stadium’s turf undamaged; part of that plan involved using additional wheels — 300 total to be exact.
All together there were close to 30 (24-foot by 8-foot) carts, which were larger than a typical field cart, requiring up to 20 workers to maneuver onto the field.
This year’s set design was called the Neighborhood. It was a multi-perspective, interactive event with a little bit of everything: smoke, lights, lifts, and theatrics. The staging for the seven set pieces included Dr. Dre’s Studio, the Courthouse, the Barber Shop, the Club, Tam’s Burgers, Snoop’s House, and the MLK Memorial, which all have significance to Dr. Dre and the performers.
Our team fabricated (and scenic painted) the building structures of each set piece and integrated video tiles into the walls and windows; we also built the MLK Memorial element on a circular lightbox deck.
The Studio Console Lift
Dr. Dre’s scene was the most involved element of the Neighborhood from a staging perspective – and featured the largest lift we have built for any halftime show. The 24-foot by 16-foot lift elevated the whole Studio set to roof level, traveling 8 feet. The carts for the Studio set were more than 7500 pounds each.
The Studio Console lift was essentially two carts that joined to form one elevator in a synchronized timing sequence. The two lifts had to operate independently because everything first had to fit on a truck and then through the stadium entrance tunnel onto the field.
An 8’ star lift was used in the Courthouse scene for the Eminem reveal. For the explosion, we created an effect using Kabuki solenoids and hand-made custom foam break-away panels that appear to blow up onto the field.
We worked with ATOMIC to create the aerial view of Compton that surrounds the Neighborhood set pieces and streets the performers take around the stadium. Atomic created a field cloth cover embedded with thousands of LEDs. All Access provided the carts that held and deployed the cover and lighting.
As always, there were thousands of feet of LED. Double runs of LED were integrated as accent lighting on all the building elements – more than 2,000 feet.
Many thanks to
- Bruce Rodgers and Tribe, Inc.
- Dave Meyers and DPS
- Desiree Perez and Roc Nation
- Es Devlin and her team
- IATSE Local 33 and Local 1
- The entire All Access team