Vanilla Ice cancels Texas concert after COVID-19 rejection

Amidst the COVID-19 numbers in Texas and the growing personal impact on a concert planned for Friday, Vanilla Ice put it in reverse and canceled the annual show at a location on Lake Travis Reservoir outside Austin.

The 90s rap star, whose real name is Rob Van Winkle, announced Thursday that he will skip the Independence Day Beach Party, and said in an upbeat video on social media that he had heard from his fans and I just wanted everyone to be safe.

“I didn’t know the numbers were so crazy in Austin,” hit maker “Ice Ice Baby” said in the video.

Travis County, which includes the music-obsessed college town, saw 88 new cases registered on June 1, but on Wednesday reported 597 new infections in one day, an increase of nearly 700%. Texas saw more than 8,000 new cases overall on Wednesday, an increase of nearly 14 times from the previous month. (Don’t gloat, locals: California just saw more than 8,600 cases in one day and is also taking steps to avoid a contagious holiday weekend.)

“We were just hoping to have a good time, the weekend of July 4, but it became a great focal point for me and it’s not about that,” said Vanilla Ice. “Anyway, happy on the fourth of July, and hopefully for the new year, this crown trash will have a cure!”

His decision is notable only because four hours before announcing the cancellation, Vanilla Ice had been defending the wisdom of drawing a crowd to the Emerald Point Bar & Grill, an outdoor venue. Texas Governor Greg Abbott had ordered all bars in the state to be closed again last week, but Emerald Point is rated as a restaurant, which means it could operate at 50% of capacity.

“I take the coronavirus seriously. But we can’t live in a bubble, ”Vanilla Ice wrote Thursday morning in a tweet that has since been removed. “I think at this point we all understand the seriousness of it. Practice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outdoor location, the fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing.

In the video, however, the Dallas-born artist said the show had been booked well in advance and that he hoped the numbers would be better now.

Austin TV news reporter Rudy Koski reported on social media Thursday that the event had been canceled “due to a setback in the capacity dispute” with Travis County. Last year’s show was the biggest, Emerald Point owner William Brannam told Fox7, with 1,800 tickets sold, but this year the venue offered just 450 tickets, plus some VIP seats.

The event would have required attendees to wear masks and promised temperature control upon entry.

In other Vanilla Ice news, the guy is still on tour.

Depending on how the pandemic is going, fans may catch a glimpse of him on Sept. 19, when he’s slated to play with Coolio, Rob Base, and C&C Music Factor at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

“All dates depend on government approval regarding COVID-19 restrictions,” says its website.