The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra performed with masks on Sunday outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California just prior to Super Bowl kickoff, video shows, while thousands just inside the venue ditched the face coverings.
The group, which consisted of roughly 20 young musicians, including high school seniors, performed «Lift Every Voice and Sing,» alongside gospel duo, MARY MARY, who didn’t wear face coverings as they sang, according to the television broadcast and reports.
The performance took place at an area outside SoFi Stadium just before the big game, as thousands of fans appeared to pack the seats of the stadium without masks. It’s unclear if the YOLA musicians were told to wear masks and only a few of them appeared to not wear the face coverings as they performed.
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Fans who enter the Super Bowl LVI campus at SoFi Stadium are required to comply with all Los Angeles County COVID-19 health and safety protocols before they can enter. That includes a mandatory mask requirement inside the «indoor-outdoor» stadium for those over two years of age — regardless of vaccination status, according to the NFL.
On Thursday, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she believed the Super Bowl could be held safely if people abided by safety measures, including masks.
«We do ask that everyone take care to minimize risk during the pandemic,» Ferrer said. «Whether attending the game at SoFi Stadium a pre-game event or gathering at someone’s home, many of us will be spending several hours eating, drinking, cheering, and shouting with people from very different households.»
Stadium officials said they planned to enforce mask-wearing, which is required at all times, except when «actively» eating or drinking.
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«That doesn’t mean you buy a bucket of popcorn and eat it for two hours. Actively eating and drinking,» Russ Simons, senior vice president for campus and facility operations for SoFi Stadium told City News Service. «We’re on to you.»
Last month, during the NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were spotted maskless – after former Lakers star Magic Johnson tweeted a picture of them.
Newsom later said he took off his mask to have a «glass of water,» though a Rams «fan cam,» appeared to show the governor sitting down at another point with his mask dangling from one ear.
According to its website, YOLA provides free instruments, music instruction, academic support, and leadership training to more than 1,500 young musicians between the ages of 6 to 18.
Prior to their performance, some of the young musicians spoke to FOX 11 Los Angeles about their excitement in playing during the Super Bowl festivities.
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«I’m really excited because I always watch the Superbowl. That’s one of the few sports events that I watch and it will be like a dream come true to experience everything,» said Rachel Kivi, a senior in high school. «A lot of kids that look like me, they don’t always know that they have opportunities like this. When you go to the LA Phil, there’s not many people that look like me and just knowing you have the opportunity to get there and be in that spot and share music, that’s a great thing to see, and it’s inspirational.»
Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report