The Houston Rodeo is the latest major event to get canceled in the wake of concerns about the coronavirus. While it began back on March 3, the rodeo was set to go until March 22 and included a headlining performance from Gwen Stefani. After the news of the cancellation was made public, the singer tweeted out a message to her fans.
So sad I won’t be able to see u guys at @RODEOHOUSTON but understand safety is most important. Hope to see u guys soon ❤️ Gx— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) March 11, 2020
While people were understanding, given the increasing severity of the virus, which was recently labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, they were nonetheless disappointed in the announcement.
"I hope they can have you back next year because Texas loves you," tweeted one fan.
"I hope to see you again soon," added another. "Safety is definitely of the most importance! Houston loves you!"
"[I] was so excited to see you perform. I was secretly hoping you and Blake would belt out 'Nobody But You,'" wrote a third, referencing the song she recorded with longtime boyfriend, Blake Shelton. The couple had surprised the audience of her Las Vegas residency back in February with a live duet of the tune, so it wasn't an unreasonable request.
News of the cancellation was tweeted out by the Houston Rodeo's official account on Wednesday.
"In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ to close," the tweet read. It added that the grounds would close at 4 p.m., and offered additional information, including questions about refunds, on their website.
The rodeo's cancellation comes amid a flurry of similar news that's impacted New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade, SXSW, Coachella and even the release date of No Time to Die, along with many, many others. Additionally, touring acts ranging from Adam Sandler to Pearl Jam have begun to postpone their March tour dates, though many are hoping to reschedule once the coronavirus is deemed to be under control.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic. WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that they have "been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction."