Picture Lady Gaga in downtown Austin performing inside a stage that’s designed to look like a Doritos vending machine — it doesn’t seem like a stretch of the imagination. But the City of Austin has denied Mother Monster a permit to play the Doritos Stage at SXSW 2014.

Don Pitts, manager of the City of Austin Music & Entertainment division, told Austin 360 that the decision was “based primarily on public safety concerns.” 

The Doritos-sponsored stage has taken over the parking lot of Carmelo's Italian Restaurant (504 E Fifth St.) for the past two years. Previous lineups have included L.L. Cool J, Ice Cube and Public Enemy.

“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,” Pitts said. “At the end of the day, it’s a parking lot."

In other words, Gaga is too popular to play in such a public venue. 

There’s still hope that Gaga may perform at SXSW. Pitts said the city “would support relocation to an established venue with the necessary permanent infrastructure.” Gaga is also rumored to be a possible keynote at the music conference, which kicks off March 11.

In other bad news for Gaga, The New York Post reports that her label home Universal Music has reported low fourth-quarter earnings, which were partly attributed to the expensive rollout and disappointing sales of “Artpop.”