By Courtney E. Smith
Since 1987, when South by Southwest, the annual music, film and interactive festival and conference, kicked off in Austin, Texas, the festival has grown leaps and bounds. And with that growth has come concern from the fest’s host city. But it seems a line in the sand has finally been drawn at Lady Gaga.
According to Austin360.com, Don Pitts, manager of the City of Austin Music & Entertainment, put the official kibosh on a proposed Gaga performance at the Dorito’s Stage in the parking lot of Carmelo’s Italian restaurant.
This doesn’t mean that Gaga isn’t welcome in Austin or at SXSW though, it just simply means the city doesn’t feel the proposed venue and location would be ample and safe to host all the Little Monsters, plus the music industry and fans attending the festival.
“Our conclusion was based primarily on public safety concerns,” Pitts said in an email statement. “As part of the review process the applicant provides a talent list to the city team (AFD, APD, ATCEMS and Office of Special Events) to review and we can adjust public resources as needed. We look at the size and capacity of the location covered by the permit being sought and how it fits with the anticipated attendance, based on event capacity and promotion. At the end of the day, it’s a parking lot.”
Pitts further confirmed that they would support a performance from Lady Gaga if it were moved to an “established venue” with the “necessary permanent infrastructure.”
Gaga kicks off her ARTPOP Ball on May 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. But before officially kicking off her tour, Gaga will play the final seven shows ever at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom starting on March 28 – her 28th birthday.