In between the Denver Broncos' dominant defense and the Carolina Panthers' slippery plays, the 2016 NFL Super Bowl hosted a halftime show of epic proportions featuring Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars. During the first quarter, the headlining frontman, Coldplay's Chris Martin, told the crowd he wanted every attendee at San Francisco's Levi's Stadium to participate in the halftime show. Football stans, mostly loaded up on carbs and brews, received these basic instructions: await the signal on the jumbotron and hold up a colored rectangle during Stunt 1 then flip it for Stunt 2.
Once the second quarter wrapped, colorfully dressed volunteers raced onto the field to construct the stage, a starburst-heavy set-up that included floral arrangements and winged dancers. Last December, halftime show director Hamish Hamilton told Billboard that the stagehands only had eight minutes to zip through the tunnels and piece the set together for a 12-minute spectacle. Witnessing the crew form the cross-like stage from an aerial POV, specifically from section 412, felt like watching a Broadway play switching sets without the curtains drawn.