Vanilla Ice Cancels Austin Concert After Uproar: ‘I Didn’t Know the Numbers Were So Crazy’Variety — Chris Willman
Vanilla Ice has put a planned weekend concert outside of Austin on ice after catching heat for promoting what looked to be a non-socially-distancing show amid a marked uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses.
In what may count as one of the major “duh” moments of the year, the rapper has backtracked on his claims that his concert would be a carefree return to the pre-coronavirus ’90s, and he went on social media to announce the cancellation.
“Guys, I’m gonna give you a little update on the concert in Austin,” he said in a video he uploaded to Twitter. “Basically, I’m not going. I listened to my fans; I hear all you people out there. I didn’t know the numbers were so crazy in Austin. But we were hoping that it would be better by the 4th of July because we booked this concert a long time ago. So basically we just want to stay safe. You know, we do take it serious… We were just hoping for a good time on the 4th of July weekend, but it turned into be a big focal point on me, and it’s not about that. So anyway, happy 4th of July, and hopefully by New Year’s this corona crap will have a cure! Come on! Goin’ to go! We’re ready to go.”
The gig had been scheduled for the Emerald Point Bar & Grill. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week shut down bars and clubs, but the Emerald Point was still allowed to host live music by virtue of its designation as a restaurant.
Earlier, Vanilla Ice had tweeted: “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. (P)ractice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outside venue, Fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing.”
The controversy first erupted after the rapper posted a video of a packed crowd from earlier times along with a caption: “”I can’t wait to get back to this. The ’90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers.” [Fact check: there were computers and cell phones in the 1990s.] “We had 5.0‘s, Blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne’s World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. And Mortal Kombat is still better than Fortnight but we got out of the house, We danced, we invented house parties in the ’90s. The last of the great decades.”
In Texas, more than 8,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported Wednesday.
The website for the Emerald Point Bar & Grille reveals that, besides Friday’s Vanilla Ice cancellation, a Saturday show headlined by Color Me Badd has also been canceled.
One of the big entertainment news stories of the past week was the flood of reaction to country singers Chase Rice and Chris Janson both holding un-socially-distanced shows — in Tennessee and Idaho, respectively — and then taking to their social media accounts to post footage of the general-admission crowds packed against their stages. Rice subsequently posted a video in which he did not apologize or show regret but did ask audiences to observe safety rules and regulations going forward. Janson has not responded to the uproar other than to delete his video.