Well, this was bound to happen. Somewhere around the time Lady Gaga tried, and failed, to perform inside a giant Doritos vending machine at SXSW, we started wondering when the festival was going to hit Peak Spectacle.
2016 might be that year. For this is the year that USA Network will plant a 100-foot ferris wheel in the middle of the madness, thus marking the festival's unofficial transition from figurative to literal amusement park.
The wheel will occupy a lot at Congress Avenue and West Fourth Street—across from the Frost Bank Tower, on a street (Congress) that will not be closed to traffic. It's part of the cable network's pretty elaborate festival marketing for its hit show Mr. Robot, on which a hacker group called fsociety, led by the aforementioned Mr. Robot, headquarters at Coney Island.
The network's site touts a robust menu of activities—"six customized experiences"—at the Coney Island simulacrum, including a simulated fsociety "lair," retro videogames, a graffiti wall, a photo booth, and, oh yeah, a chance to watch the pilot in peace.