Yes, the seven floating stages during Rihanna’s Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show were theatrical and cool, but they also had a very practical purpose.
And it had everything to do with the grass on the field.
That’s according to Bruce Rodgers, the halftime show production designer, who spoke to Wired about helping to create the show prior to the performance.
Rodgers explained that when it came to the LED lit stages that elevated off the field for Rihanna and her dancers, it had “never been done before.”
“With Katy Perry, we flew her around in a flying device, like a rocket ship,” he said. “But this one is a totally different animal.”
Rodgers said he came up with the concept and worked with Rihanna’s team, which included designer Willo Perron, choreographer Parris Goebel, and production manager Joseph Lloyd, to implement it.
By having the singer and the other performers in the air, it took the stress off of the turf on the field that at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, is 100,000 square feet of Tifway 419 hybrid Bermuda grass.
Grass is very important to the National Football League as it can affect how the players are able to function on the field.
And while it may have looked risky for Rihanna, who debuted her new baby bump during her performance, to be suspended on a stage 15-60 feet off the ground, according to the report, the stages had “massive Brunel trusses” that Rodgers assured Rihanna’s team are “strong enough to ‘carry a freight train.’”
“This will be, in my opinion, the most technically advanced Super Bowl halftime show that’s ever been done because of the amount of tech used to move the platforms,” Aaron Siebert, the project lead from Tait Towers, which made the platforms, told the publication prior to the show.