Behind The Week’s halftime show: Nasal Swabs and Backup Plans

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    When The Weeknd is in the Sunday Super Bowl halftime show headlines, the stage will take place, not on the field, to simplify the transition from sports to performances. In the days leading up to the event, activists visited a tent outside the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Rep., To receive nose swabs for the Copa-19 trials. And although a small crew is putting on the show this year, the bathroom trailer goes through the water three times as usual – because it’s all about washing hands.

    In the midst of a global epidemic, the dignified conspiracy that is the halftime show has become even more complicated.

    In a typical year, a huge stage is torn to pieces on the football field, sound and lighting equipment are rapidly installed side by side by hundreds of stagehands, and fans watch frivolous games. This year, hats how many people can participate in the production, a dense crowd of enthusiastic fans is out of the question. And only about 1,050 people are expected to be a part of the workforce for most of the year to work on the show.

    The epidemic has prevented live performances in most parts of the country, and many television spectacles have resorted to pretapped segments to ensure the safety of performers and audiences. However, the production team of the halftime show was intended to enhance a live performance at the stadium, which they hoped would entice television viewers. To fulfill that dream, they would need a contingency plan, thousands of KN95 masks and a desire to break a decades-long tradition.

    “It’s going to be a different looking show, but it’s still going to be a live show,” said Jan Fleischman, executive vice president of JK Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z, which taped by the NFL in 2019 Was done. Create performances for marquee sports such as the Super Bowl. “It’s a new way of doing everything.”

    The image
    Credit …Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    One of the first logistics puzzles was figuring out how to pick up staff members from the airport and ask them to board and transport the hotel, the show’s executive officer, in charge of production and chief operating officer in diverse production services , An event production company based in New Jersey working on a halftime show.

    “Usually you pack everyone in a van, throw the bag behind, everyone is sitting on each other’s laps,” Meyers said. “This can not be.”

    Instead, they rented more than 300 cars for safe transportation to all.

    Raymond James, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, calls a “campus” outside the stadium, operating from which many of the company’s workers have been in Tumta for weeks. The complex consists of a 50-foot-long office trailer, which used to fit about 20 employees each, but is now limited to six. There are socially distant dining tents where people eat pre-prepared meals, and a sign for which the tables have been cleaned: ones with chairs leaning against them.

    Outside the perimeter of the incident, there is a tent where halftime-show workers are conducting a COVID-19 test. Meyers said that staff members are being tested every 48 hours, but now that sports day is close, the chief staff, who are in proximity to the cast, are being tested every day. Each day, workers fill out a health screening on their smartphones, and if they clear, they receive a color-coded wristband, each day with a new color so that no one can wear tomorrow’s clothes.

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    Credit …Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    Each time activists enter a new area of ​​the stadium or grounds, they scan a credential that hangs around their neck in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19 or goes into quarantine. If need be, the NFL will find out who and what was in their vicinity. And there are contingency plans if workers are to quarantine: there is an understanding of key employees, including Meyers, who are ready to take their place.

    All those measures are taken so that Weekend can advance Sunday for a 12-minute act aimed at rivaling previous years when the country was not in the midst of a global health crisis.

    “Our biggest challenge is to make this show, because it is not influenced by COVID,” Meyers said.

    The challenge was clear on Thursday at a news conference about the halftime show. When Weekend stroked the microphone, he noted taking it into the room, “It’s kind of empty.” His words were probably a preview of how the stadium could look to those watching from home. (About 25,000 fans will be present – a little over a third of their capacity – and they will connect with thousands of cardboard cutouts.)

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    Credit …Dave Clements / Sipa via Associated Press

    But The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), a 30-year-old Canadian pop star who has given several hit films including “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Starboy”, is known for his dramatic nature. His work often features broaching feel, avant-guard edge, and even some blood and gore (he promised he would hold the halftime show “PG”).

    It will be the second Super Bowl halftime show produced in part by Jay-Z and Roche Nation, recruited by the NFL at a time when the performers are refusing to work with the league, which was Colin Vapernik, the former San Francisco 49ers Were in solidarity with. Quarterbacks who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

    The NFL and Rocco Nation are keeping quiet about the details of the program to create anticipation, so it’s unclear whether it would normally show the old-time budget effects that would have had Jennifer Lopez dancing on a giant revolting pole As shown, Katy Perry recalled an animatronic lion and Diana Ross getting out of the helicopter.

    It is clear that Lady Gaga is unlikely to have anything like an intimate moment with some of her fans during her 2017 performance, when she held her hands before going back on stage for “Bad Romance” and in them Hugged one from. The Weeknd is taking the stage in a much more distant world.

    Ken Belsen contributed reporting.

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