How Can Super Bowl Halftime Show Be Set Up in Just 6 Minutes?

The organizers must take 6 to 8 months to survey the location and calculate in detail how and where to arrange the necessary things. In the show, they only have 6 minutes to prepare.

Patrick Baltzell has been the sound engineer for the biggest event in the US for the Super Bowl for decades. Not only is he a Super Bowl sound specialist, he is also responsible for the acoustic design of other events such as the Grammy Awards, Oscar awards ceremonies or presidential ceremonies. Millions of people around the world and those in the stands watched the Super Bowl, applauding athletes, performance artists or singers of the National Anthem. However, some who know the “silent warriors” have been doing their best for months to customize, set up a stadium-scale sound system, allowing them to spread to any corner clearly.

The break between the two halves of the match will be between 6 and 7 minutes and this is the only time to build the show on the field. Engineers work in the yard to drill and chisel it properly. In a normal match, people will need 2 broadcasters. However, because the Super Bowl serves 180 countries and 25 languages, it will take 25 broadcasters to interpret at the same time. The director has to manage to control all the loudspeaker systems for the national anthem, the mid-hour show, and then switch back to the ball, the referee, the announcements or more.

The lead vocals are always singing live, only the background music is pre-recorded. Therefore, in 6 minutes, the organizers must connect perfectly to all instruments such as drums, guitars, keyboards, etc. The bands are the most complicated and solo artists are a bit easier.

Many artists like to sing improvisedly so the organizers have to change depending on the time. Each time they sing is different every time, so if you use a pre-recorded version that doesn’t match the mouth singing at the camera’s close, it’ll be embarrassing.