The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest performance opportunities an artist can get, and Dr. Dre will be the next artist to take the stage for football’s biggest game in February 2022. But with the surge of the coronavirus (COVID-19) omicron variant, the fate of the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show could be in jeopardy.
Dr. Dre is performing at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show
Dr. Dre rose to fame in the early 1990s, first as a part of the hip-hop supergroup N.W.A. and eventually as a solo rapper. The Compton native will be returning to his home city when the Super Bowl halftime show takes over SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. But he won’t be alone; he’s performing alongside other music greats Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem.
Los Angeles is already taking extra precautions ahead of big events planned in early 2022. The Recording Academy postponed the 2022 Grammy Awards due to the omicron variant surge, and some believe that the Super Bowl halftime show could face the same fate.
Dr. Dre is fronting the money for the halftime show
The Super Bowl halftime show is no easy feat to pull off, and requires hundreds of people working behind the scenes as well as the featured performers on stage. If the halftime show is cut from the Super Bowl program, Dr. Dre himself could lose out on millions.
According to TMZ, Dre himself is fronting most of the money necessary to pull off the event, which is reportedly several million dollars. But the hip-hop mogul has a net worth of nearly $1 billion, so taking on the costs of putting on the show isn’t a huge deal for him.
Still, Dre had the foresight to plan for the worst. He bought event cancellation insurance to cover any disasters that might ruin the halftime show. But the only problem is that the insurance policy has an exception for COVID.
The provision is called a “communicable disease exemption, and it’s been around since the SARS-CoV-1 outbreak in the early 2000s. COVID-19 (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) is part of the communicable disease exemption, which means Dre won’t be reimbursed if COVID leads them to call off the show.
The Weeknd performed at the Super Bowl in the middle of the pandemic
Even though the halftime show could be up in the air depending on the COVID cases, the football game is still set to go on, with or without a crowd.
Super Bowl LVI won’t be the first time the NFL has to work around the virus to put on a show. In 2021, The Weeknd performed at the halftime show in front of a reduced crowd in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The likeliest outcome will be that the 2022 halftime show show will go on as planned. Omicron cases are expected to peak in January, weeks before the game on February 13th. But as has been proven throughout the pandemic, conditions can change practically overnight.