UPDATE: Following backlash and public concerns regarding safety amid rising COVID-19 cases in Texas, Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed a his previously planned Fourth of July concert, which was set to take place this weekend in Austin.
In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, the rapper announced, "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."
See his full comments, below:
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Vanilla Ice will perform a concert in Austin, Texas in front of thousands of people on the Fourth of July despite surging coronavirus cases.
The American rapper, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle, is set to headline the outdoor concert — dubbed the "Independence Day Throwback Beach Party" — at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill this weekend, even though the state has seen record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 infections. (On July 2, Texas recorded 8,240 new cases.)
On June 29, Ice promoted the event by posting a video on Instagram of him performing in front of a massive crowd, writing in the 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. We had 5.0's, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne's World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan," he continued. "Music makes people happy. I think we could all use some happiness with all this corona mess happening."
He has since defended his upcoming concert via Twitter, writing, "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. Practice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outside venue, Fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing."
Ice is the latest artist to draw criticism for resuming performances. Last week, country singer Chase Rice came under fire after performing in front of packed crowds in Idaho and Tennessee amid the pandemic.