Vanilla Ice cancels Texas concert on Friday amid coronavirus concerns

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice performs during the skills competition at the NBA All Star basketball game in New Orleans on Feb. 15, 2014. (Gerald Herbert / AP)

AUSTIN (WFLA/KXAN/AP) — Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed his Friday concert just outside Austin, Texas amid an uptick in coronavirus cases in the area.

The scheduled Lake Travis concert from the ’90s-era rapper with the hit single “Ice Ice Baby” drew fierce criticism due to the pandemic. He posted an update to his Instagram page Thursday:

The concert was scheduled to take place on Friday at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill on Lake Travis. Another concert, featuring ’90s band Color Me Badd, is scheduled for Saturday.

Even though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that the state will be closing bars to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the business is allowed to remain open as a restaurant because a majority of its earnings come from food.

A manager at Emerald Point declined to comment about the concert. The Texas Tribune reports that the venue’s organizer said only 84 tickets had been sold as of Wednesday night and that the maximum capacity for the event is set at 450 people.

For Friday, many of the more expensive tickets were sold out, but ones described as “standing room only” on the beach and upper deck were available Thursday morning. It is not yet clear if the tickets will be refunded, or if other concerts will still take place Saturday.

Under Abbott’s order, all outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must get approval from local governments. It’s unclear how this rule applies in this case because people are able to watch both inside and outside the venue.

Earlier this week, Vanilla Ice promoted the event and shared a couple of posts on Instagram saying fans should reminisce about the fun of the ’90s despite the rising cases.

“I can’t wait to get back to this,” he captioned a video showing screaming fans at a concert. “The ’90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers.”

In a now-deleted tweet on Thursday, before canceling the show, Vanilla Ice said, “I take the coronavirus serious. But we can’t live in a bubble. I think at this point we all understand the severity of it. practice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outside venue, Fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing.”

On Wednesday, the City of Austin sent out emergency text and phone call alerts to residents warning them to stay home, wear face coverings, and social distance over the holiday weekend. The City and County also closed all parks and recreational facilities over the weekend.

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