Less than one month out from Super Bowl LVIII, the annual “TikTok Tailgate” pregame show is taking shape, with Gwen Stefani now confirmed as the headliner.
Both the NFL and TikTok detailed the news in formal releases, having first partnered on the “ultimate pregame party” ahead of 2020’s Super Bowl LIV. Since then, acts including The Chainsmokers, Jason Derulo, and The Black Keys have performed as part of TikTok Tailgate, which is once again set to stream live on the namesake short-form app.
In a statement, the latest artist associated with the happening made clear that she’s “honored” to top the TikTok Tailgate billing, penning a brief message about the event on social media and releasing a related clip on TikTok itself for good measure.
Besides airing on the highly controversial TikTok, this year’s Tailgate installment (or “portions” of Stefani’s set, specifically) will make its way into pregame coverage on CBS. Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled to take place, with Usher headlining the Apple Music-sponsored Halftime Show, on February 11th.
Meanwhile, the ByteDance-owned platform is poised to capitalize upon the undoubtedly large TikTok Tailgate audience at hand with a “celebration prior to the musical performance” from 54-year-old Stefani, the companies noted.
Said celebration will feature football-centered content provided by “top TikTok creators from fashion, food, comedy and lifestyle communities,” per the NFL and the video app, which has quietly expanded its reach to a number of areas in the music space.
On the latter front, it was only last month that TikTok organized and streamed an “In the Mix” concert featuring well-established acts like Cardi B and Anitta as well as four professionals (Isabel LaRosa, Kaliii, Lu Kala, and Sam Barber) enrolled in the Elevate emerging-artist program.
All told, in addition to attracting a seemingly sizable in-person audience, In the Mix reportedly boasted 9.6 million live viewers on TikTok and a platform record 33.5 million unique views across initial rebroadcasts.
Bigger picture, TikTok’s foray into crowd-based entertainment represents just one component of the mentioned music expansion, including, since 2022, release tools, distribution offerings, promotion options, a high-profile Ticketmaster pact, important partnership deals, artist competitions, a standalone TikTok Music streaming service, and more.
Notwithstanding these and non-music buildout efforts, the overarching TikTok continues to grapple with regulatory scrutiny and threats of a full-scale ban in certain U.S. states. Select nations, among them India and Nepal, have outlawed the platform altogether, and data-security concerns last year prompted multiple cities, states, and countries to ban the app’s use on government devices.