With the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging the United States, sporting events have seen a shift in how they’re being presented — including the Super Bowl, which will look a lot different in 2021. The game itself — which takes place on Feb. 7, 2021 — will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at their home field, Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Florida, per NBC Sports.
While football fans will undoubtedly tune in to see all the nail-biting action and tackles on the field, others will be more interested in the commercials and the halftime show. The halftime show has been a television staple since 1991 when New Kids on the Block became the first pop group to perform, ushering a new era of pop artist-led performances, according to Billboard.
Besides performing their hits, artists who have performed at the Super Bowl halftime shows — like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira — have to put on a spectacle and be creative with how they use the coveted stage. Oftentimes, the performers utilize expensive productions and setups, such as the LED panels in Beyoncé’s 2013 show (via The Guardian).
With The Weeknd set to perform at the 2021 halftime show, he’s taking no risks and is even pitching his own money to ensure a seamless performance. Read on to find out how much The Weeknd is putting in and the reason for his decision.
The Weeknd wants his performance to be a 'cinematic experience'
Although The Weeknd was announced as the Super Bowl halftime show performer in November 2020, he and his team had been in talks about it for six months, Billboard reported. The stadium that The Weeknd will perform in will be about one-third full due to COVID-19 restrictions, but he is confident that his fans will enjoy it. “We’ve been really focusing on dialing in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl,” The Weeknd told Billboard.
Part of creating that cinematic experience comes from the budget. Traditionally, the NFL covers the production costs, including “for any and all performance-related expenses” (via CNBC). However, The Weeknd “put up $7 million of his own money” to make the halftime show “what he envisioned,” according to Billboard.
Considering the theatrics that The Weeknd has created with his visuals for After Hours, including a botched plastic surgery look in 2020, we’ll stay tuned to see if he continues the narrative on Feb. 7, 2021.
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