Vanilla Ice's controversial Fourth of July concert in Texas has been postponed amid growing concerns of rising coronavirus cases. The concert has been postponed "indefinitely" with no rescheduled date yet announced. News of the postponement, which was first reported by the Associated Press, was confirmed by Barrett Brannam, the owner of the restaurant hosting the show.
According to Brannam, the rapper opted to postpone the concert due to "concerns for the health of his fans and himself." Brannam added that in recent days, he had received an influx of complaints regarding the show, though the decision to postpone it was not due to pressure from state or local governments. He suggested that the show could be rescheduled to "later this summer or not until next summer," though a new date remains murky.
Vanilla Ice's management company has not yet responded to requests for comment. Just hours before the postponement was announced, the rapper had taken to Twitter to state that he "takes the coronavirus very seriously," though he said that we "can't live in a bubble." He added that "at this point we all understand the severity of it. practice social distancing and wear a mask" and suggested that there would be "plenty of room for social distancing" due to the venue being outside. He changed his tune not long after, though, sharing a video confirming the news.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Austin we’re gonna move the concert to a better date. We were hoping for better Coronavirus numbers by July but Unfortunately the numbers have increased quite a bit so for the safety and health of everyone we’re going to stay home. pic.twitter.com/MWWfNWf3zd— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) July 2, 2020
The '90s rap icon, whose real name is Robbie Van Winkle, was originally slated to take the stage Friday night at Emerald Point Bar & Grill. The rapper’s decision to continue with the concert despite a surge in coronavirus cases had sparked a fierce debate online, with many people criticizing Ice for putting both himself and his fans' wellbeing in danger.
According to The Austin Chronicle, although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had put much of the state back on lockdown, including bars and music venues, the show was allowed to continue due to a technicality. Because the Emerald Point Bar & Grill is technically a restaurant, it is allowed to have up to a 50 percent capacity. Following a statewide lockdown, the venue had opened in May and has been hosting live performances ever since. Brannam, however, has since decided to postpone other upcoming concerts, including concerts by Coolio and Tone Loc that were s scheduled for next week.