Vanilla Ice Stopped, Collaborated, And Listened: Finally Cancelled Concert Amid Pandemic

Leah Groth

Vanilla Ice had a Fourth of July weekend concert scheduled in Austin, Texas, but he’s decided to cancel it after outcry from fans

Things are a whole lot different since Vanilla Ice’s epic hit Ice Ice Baby topped the charts and blasted out of boom boxes across the world, 30 years ago this summer. In 1990, people were forced to communicate in person or on a “landline,” computers were pretty much only used in school, and the term “COVID-19” was decades away from being formulated. And, despite the fact that the country is experiencing a record number of new coronavirus infections, the rapper was going to give his fans a little break from it all by reliving the past in the form of a Fourth of July weekend concert. But it seems he’s decided to stop, collaborate, and listen — it’s now cancelled in light of the state’s soaring coronavirus cases.

The rapper, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle, had a scheduled performance on July 3rd in Austin, Texas at a “restaurant” called Emerald Point Bar & Grill. While bars in the state have been ordered to close as a result of the spike of infections in Texas, apparently due to the fact that the establishment is classified as a “restaurant” the show was technically allowed to go on. But Van Winkle decided on his own to cancel it.

The event was dubbed The Independence Day Throwback Beach Party, and the event’s promoter, Mike Wade, told the Austin Chronicle that the show’s capacity would be 2,500. The Texas Tribune reported that as of Wednesday night only 84 tickets had been sold. At first, Vanilla had no intention of allowing the COVID-19 pandemic, or what he likes to refer to as the “corona mess,” to get in the way of his big event. Thankfully, he’s changed his mind.

“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,” he announced on Twitter.

In another post this week, he listed all the reasons he misses the 90s — and TBH, we are with him there. “I can’t wait to get back to this. The 90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers,” he said, “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,” completing the post with the hashtag #IMissThenineties.

While most of share in his nostalgia and would love to spend the holiday weekend partying like we’re in an episode of MTV’s The Grind, the reality is that people are being infected — and dying — from the virus at an alarming rate. It’s good to hear that he saw reason and decided safety was more important.

As of Thursday, at least 125,000 Americans have died as a result of COVID-19 and 2.697 million have been infected. Considering the virus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets and there is currently no vaccine, experts continue to maintain that social distancing and wearing facial coverings are our best bet in flattening the curve. As social distancing is near impossible at a concert, it’s definitely best to stay home and listen to Ice Ice Baby on iTunes instead.

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