How Do Fans Get on the Field During the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

This year’s Super Bowl halftime show is unlikely to go down as one of the greatest in history. When the NFL revealed that Maroon 5 would perform in Atlanta, the response was not exactly enthusiastic. Fans wondered why the L.A. band had been chosen for the high-profile gig while prominent Atlanta artists were ignored.

Others felt the whole event would be boring.

The NFL attempted to quell the backlash by adding Atlanta rapper Big Boi to the lineup, along with Travis Scott. The league has reportedly found it difficult to get performers to sign on for the gig. Both Rihanna and Cardi B are said to have turned down the chance to perform because they objected to the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

Despite the controversy, there are plenty of people who are excited for the halftime show. Many would probably be thrilled to be among the crowd of spectators on the field during the big performance. But getting onto the field isn’t exactly easy.

How to experience the Super Bowl halftime show in person

Super Bowl Halftime show
Justin Timberlake performs during the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in 2018 | Rob Carr/Getty Images

If you were hoping to get onto the field this year in Atlanta, you’re too late. A call went out seeking people who’d be willing to be Super Bowl halftime show field team members, but due to the “overwhelming response” applications are now closed.

Exactly how the hundred of field team members were chosen isn’t clear, but apparently, you needed to be over 18 and able to lift at least 50 pounds and move around. That’s because they’re the ones in charge of moving the different parts of the stage around in a matter of minutes so that the show can happen and then play can resume.

People chosen for the job do earn minimum wage, but they also need to put in a significant amount of time before the big game. There are eight orientation or rehearsal sessions in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, with some lasting six hours. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.

As for the enthusiastic crowd who will dance in front of the stage, it’s not clear how those people were selected for this year’s game. At Super Bowl LII, dance teams from Minnesota high schools were on the field. But at the championship game in 2009, when Bruce Springsteen performed, the crowd was made up of volunteers who responded to an online ad.

You don’t get to stay to watch the game

Becoming a field team member is not a way to score free tickets to the Super Bowl. The halftime show helpers are just there for the mid-game performance, not the rest of the game.

Delene Cleveland, a crew member who worked at last year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis reported that he earned $10 an hour and got a free sweatshirt. Oh, and Justin Timberlake stopped by to drop off some hot chocolate. For him, the experience was worth it. But not everyone who’s participated in halftime shows has had a great time.

ESPN columnist Rick Reilly signed up to be part of the crowd at the Springsteen halftime show, and he said the experience left something to be desired. He didn’t get paid for his time, had to miss major chunks of the game while waiting around, and was only on the field for 12 minutes. Oh, and he couldn’t even hear the Boss perform because the speakers were oriented toward the crowd in the stands, not on the field.

When it comes to being a halftime concert fan, he had this to say: “Let me give you some advice: Don’t. Be. One.”

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