With the countless complications faced by greater society since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus at the tail end of 2019, live entertainment has been one of the many industries effectively choked out by quarantine measures. However, despite the complications involved in doing so, the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show featuring The Weeknd will be broadcast live.
So, how exactly is this year's Super Bowl going down, and more specifically, why did they opt to have The Weeknd perform live? Here's a look at what's known so far, including the measures taken to make it all happen and who specifically is involved in what will no doubt be one of the biggest shows of the year.
The Super Bowl halftime show is live this year despite COVID-19 concerns.
Although many usual aspects of day-to-day life across the globe have been upended due to the coronavirus' unprecedented spread, the NFL has worked adamantly to make this year's Super Bowl as "normal" for fans as possible, and that includes having its headlining halftime show performer, The Weeknd, still dazzling fans live from a stage in the middle of the field.
The pomp and usual over-the-top behavior associated with the Super Bowl will remain, albeit with the crowds gone. Companies have been gearing up for multimillion-dollar ad campaigns and preparing merchandise. Traditional aspects such as the singing of the national anthem will remain but will notably feature only a select few fans on the sidelines, all donning masks.
The Weeknd is committed to making his performance great no matter what.
In another unusual turn of events taking place in an already-unusual year, The Weeknd, per Billboard, was so adamant that he perform the halftime show live that he sank $7 million of his own money into efforts to bring his "cinematic" vision to life.
His performance, coming right in the middle of the game that sees the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Kansas City Chiefs to determine this year's champion, is set to air at 8 p.m. ET, roughly the same time that it is showcased every year.
The game is set to take place at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' stadium in their home city, with The Weeknd actively rehearsing his performance, per local Twitter users, for the better portion of the last week at the South Florida stadium.
Amanda Gorman, the young poet from President Biden's inauguration, is also set to perform.
Aside from The Weeknd's highly-anticipated performance of such chart-topping hits as "Blinding Lights" and "Starboy," fans across the nation are also eager to hear another provocative poem from National Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, who composed an original piece she will recite ahead of the game at 6:30 p.m. ET.
After Gorman's opening contribution, the national anthem will be performed by Grammy-nominated R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan, who will be accompanied by country singer Eric Church.