During its early years, the Super Bowl wasn’t as exciting nor did it gather a lot of attention as it does today so the prestigious Half Time Show wasn’t big either. One could find that those Half Time Shows from the early days were a lot more patriotic and featured entertainment from the nearby high schools marching band, granted this would be considered huge during that time. The first show was much different than what we have today, huge advertisements where nonexistent. With the first show it was met with some controversy, being set in sunny Los Angeles and during the time a racial tension, LA was getting over the 1965 riots that plagued the city two college bands one from Grambling formed the shape of the Liberty Bell and they were met with criticism from the African American community saying they shouldn’t have played in the midst of racial tension. The reason being is that Grambling was predominately black school, but this caused many other black schools to use the Half Time Show to use it as a platform and a showcase.
The sixties were centered around high school or college marching bands, and to the typical watcher of the game that was the peak of the best entertainment but the seventies came and they set a new bar. During Super Bowl X (10) in Miami where they celebrated the country’s 200th birthday. The show featured dancers dancing on top of a giant wheeled birthday cake but the rest of the band danced in a formation and did things like the Liberty Bell, this was the first year that had concert based sound quality rather whatever audio was in place of the game. As the seventies went so did the excitement of the show and game, by the mid-seventies, sponsors like Pepsi began contributing to the game in various different ways, the show became bigger. The following year to Super Bowl X the game went to California and Walt Disney Co was involved in making the Half Time Show happen, Mickey Mouse was the main attraction of that year’s Super Bowl and this became a pattern for the rest of the decade having it familiar entities or mascots in each state so people would forward to seeing it.
The eighties dawned a new age. Glam rock was a thing, hairspray was sold in abundance and Super Bowl was at this point considered an important pass time for the American public, after each NFL season people would look forward to it. In turn with that, the Half Time Show got even grander, the show itself became a lot more complicated and more technical the stage would move, the lights would sink up to the beat. The eighties also saw the band Up With People 4th time playing the Half-Time Show and the song they played the Super Bowl Shuffle which was recorded three months prior would land them a Grammy. The days of having 30 or 40 performers on the field at once were gone, now they’re upward of a hundred and that started in the eighties, twelve hundred performers participated at Super Bowl XXII (22) and that was the biggest show at the time. The following year things got, even more, complicate when Coke started showing off the show and their advertisements in 3D, they even got a magician to show use the 3D effect to his advantage in a massive crowd involved card trick.
The nineties changed everything again, the viewers would go to the washroom at the 2-minute warning of the games because at this point the Half Time Show ratings were at the highest and during this time famous singers like New Kids on The Block and Michael Jackson where being used the main source of entertainment. Super Bowl XXX (30) was odd mainly because Diana Ross who was coming down on a high perch at the entrance of her performance and then being lifted by a helicopter on her exit.
To celebrate the millennium the Super Bowl enlisted in some of times hottest artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and because of that they pushed the show higher to where it is now and. The 2000s and the decade that followed it managed to gather so much attention and so much viewership that it has gone passed the Super Bowl itself. People don’t even watch the game anymore but rather the show because of what it draws. No other sporting event has done what the NFL has done in terms of entertainment, where it puts something that has nothing to do with game itself on center and manages to put it passed the actual game. Years ago one would say “who are you going for at the Super Bowl this year” but it now people says “are you interested in seeing Beyonce at the halftime show”. That’s what has happened, they’ve marketed the Half Time Show so much that now it’s probably the main thing to watch during the event for a large number of people and that the game itself is now a secondary thing. The direction this is all going now is that the Half Time Show may be its own thing separate from the Super Bowl.