Permit denied after city worries fans would go gaga over Lady Gaga

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The necessary permits for Lady Gaga to play the Doritos Stage during South by Southwest were denied by the City of Austin over safety concerns, city officials said.

The location of the Doritos Stage would not be able to sustain the crowds Gaga might draw due to her international level of talent, the Austin Center for Special Events said.

Doritos has built a giant vending machine each of the last two years in the small parking lot of Carmelo’s Italian Restaurant at 504 E. Fifth Street.

The venue can only hold around 800 people, according to Austin Police Cmdr. William Manno.

“Those 800 will get in, but it’s the thousands of others that will come and try to sneak a peak, and try to hear, that that particular area will just not accommodate.”

L.L. Cool J, Ice Cube and Public Enemy performed on the stage last year. In an effort to block thousands of fans from trying to work their way into the event, Austin police had to line up several semi trucks along the road.

The city says a Lady Gaga performance at that location would draw even larger crowns and would present problems for public safety.

“During these events, 5th Street always gets backed up,” said Manno. “The fire station is just a few blocks away and Red River is a major route to University Medical Center at Brackenridge. We need to make sure there is nothing interfering with those routes.”

While the city tries to accommodate a wide variety of events, an invasion of Gaga’s “Little Monsters” was too much for the city to safely allow at the Doritos stage.

But a Lady Gaga performance at SXSW still isn’t completely out of question. The pop star is trying to find another venue to play at, according to the city.

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