This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the crowds were not allowed to gather for the ball drop.
Only a select group of frontline and essential workers were allowed to enter Times Square on New Year’s Eve,
including Tiger Party’s production team, led by CEO Rafale Chang.
While Times Square was nearly empty on New Year’s Eve for the first time since 1907,
an estimated one billion people worldwide watched the 2021 ball drop and countdown.
Following COVID-19 protocols, instead of celebrating New Year’s Eve in person,
President Biden and the First Lady appeared live from on the American Eagle sign in Times Square with host Ryan Seacrest.
The Bidens thanked frontline and essential workers for keeping the country together from the big screen.
“This year’s New Year’s Eve was unlike any we will likely see in our lifetimes,” said Rafale.
“To create the excitement of past celebrations, it was critical that the countdown clock worked seamlessly and perfectly
while ensuring that we kept everyone safe under COVID-19 guidelines.
Our team was doing COVID tests every two days to make sure the event took place safely. "
For the first time, the production team had to work entirely outdoors this year,
which required all signals to be transmitted through radio instead of optical fiber (as optical fiber is only available indoors).
Tiger Party team also started running pressure tests and rehearsals two weeks earlier than past years
to ensure the countdown clock and synchronization worked precisely “no matter what”.