Go Behind-the-Build with All Access: Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show

There’s no bigger and more spectacular event than the Super Bowl halftime show. This year was no different. The Super Bowl LVII halftime show had the widest – and maybe the most brightly colored – stage of any halftime show, measuring nearly 235 linear feet. (In football terms, imagine a 78-yard rush starting from the 11-yard line.)

Let’s break down more stats from this year’s set:

  • 23 carts with 236 wheels
  • 64 custom hinging stairs
  • 57 gallons of neon paint
  • ~4,000 feet of LED tape
  • 400+ local crew
  • 16 semi trucks

Every year the All Access team is presented with unique variables and puzzles to piece together. “Halftime shows are never straightforward,” said All Access president Erik Eastland. “There’s nothing simple about getting a 234-foot stage on and off a football field in six minutes.”

This year, to protect State Farm Stadium’s natural grass, the NFL limited the number of carts on the field to 25. The set ended up with 23 carts in total, with 15 for the main stage and runway system and eight for lighting. The 31-foot main center stage consisted of five custom carts, and each side of the runway consisted of four custom runway carts and one end cap cart.

All Access also built custom framing for the lighting carts to accommodate the large size and quantity of lighting fixtures. As with every halftime show, the Versa field stage system was used, which features pneumatic tires specially made for rolling smoothly on – and protecting – both natural and artificial turf.

Flipping Stairs
To reduce the number of overall carts, the All Access team designed custom runway carts with stairs that hinge up, which kept everything self-contained and maximized the square footage of each cart. Additionally, it gave the stage a seamless, zero-clearance finished look that appeared to sit directly on the turf, achieving the blocky, solid, monolithic aesthetic. (Every piece of scenery that touched the natural grass was reinforced with Enkamat turf protection material.)

Scenic Painting
As wide as this year’s stage was, it was just as bright. Pinpointing the perfect shade of red to paint the stage wasn’t simple. The design team provided a color reference, and after narrowing it down to 10-15 options, the designers chose premium luminescent Wildfire paint in Bright Red. All Access’ scenic painters applied 57 gallons to create that vivid fluorescent stage (and may have bought out the manufacturer’s entire stock).

The entire stage and runway system was outlined in RGBW LED tape and four rows of LED band at the base. Almost 4,000 feet of LED were used, requiring more than 12,000 feet of wiring. (That’s more than two miles of wire!)

Effects Integration
This year also featured the most fog machines integrated into any halftime show stage. All Access integrated 44 high-intensity Atlas fog generators, provided by Pyrotecnico, in custom housing boxes into the main stage and runway system, which included reservoirs to prevent fluid leaking onto the field and absorbent pads for extra protection. High-intensity foggers were required because typical CO2 fog machines aren’t effective in dry desert climates. Unfortunately the fog effects did not make it to final version of the show.

Because the overall footprint of the stage was so wide, perfect placement on the field was critical. Dancers flying onto the stage platforms from above relied on the stage being in the exact spot to hit their marks. There was no margin for error.

Field Access Ramp
The State Farm Stadium has a natural grass field, which sits on a tray that rolls outside of the stadium to get sunlight. The tray elevates the field by four feet, making it inaccessible for the carts from the access tunnels. The stadium’s house ramp was not wide enough for the carts, so All Access created a custom field access ramp, which was 14 feet wide and 62 feet long, to allow the set pieces to roll onto the field.

Rehearsal Stage
The team built an additional full-scale mock set in a different arena in Phoenix for artist rehearsals, which also had to evolve to reflect any changes to the real halftime set.

Huge thanks to the entire All Access team who pulled off another halftime show without a hitch. Designing an enormous, custom set for the most watched television event (that’s built during a commercial break!) is always a remarkable feat. Many thanks to the following who made another Super Bowl Halftime Show the most unforgettable event of the year.

  • Bruce Rodgers, Tribe, Inc.
  • Dave Meyers, DPS
  • Desiree Perez, Roc Nation
  • Willo Perron and Catherine Bella, Perron-Roettinger
  • IATSE Local 1, 33 & 336


The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.