An ultra-meta, avant-garde piece of corporate branding performance art? Or the final death knell of
Whatever the stakes, Lady Gaga is headlining a Doritos-sponsored bill at this year's SXSW festival, one of the week's biggest sets and marketing gambits.
The pop singer, whose relevance and commercial performance has been on a years-long slip since her smash debut album "The Fame," was initially denied a permit to perform on the actual Doritos Stage, the widely mocked inflatable venue meant to resemble a giant spicy-corn-snack vending machine (and/or metaphor for the contemporary music business).
So the company moved her showcase inside Stubb's BBQ on March 13. It will be her first set at the annual music, film and interactive festival and glad-handing event. To get tickets, fans will have to go through a whole social-media rigmarole of uploading free advertising content in which they express their Doritos-driven goals for "bold action" to get to the "#boldstage" (or something).
Gaga is far from the first pop star to perform at SXSW, though. In recent years,
This year's festival will sport major sets from other mainstream contemporary artists, including Coldplay, Imagine Dragons,
But Gaga's particularly Stockholm-syndrome-y quotes about this Doritos event, like "I believe being an individual and speaking your mind is one of the boldest things you can do," are leaving us praying this is some incredibly high-concept prank where she'll bathe, Elizabeth Bathory-style, in a vat of Tapatio and Cool Ranch flavoring onstage.