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Vanilla Ice to Perform July 4 Weekend Concert in Texas Despite Surging Coronavirus Caseload

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Despite record-setting increases in Covid-19 cases in Texas, its capital city, Austin, will play host to a concert by ’90s music superstar Vanilla Ice on Friday, July 3.

The rapper, who endeared himself to metalheads with a hilariously bad nu-metal version of his biggest hit, “Ice Ice Baby” (re-dubbed “Too Cold“) in 1998, is leaning heavily on ’90s nostalgia to promote the event — in addition to all the press from the audacity of performing a show in a pandemic hotspot — saying on Instagram:

“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.
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 #IMissThenineties

Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order last Friday ordering all bars closed, but Emerald Point Bar & Grill, where the concert will be held, derives more than 51% of its income from food and is therefore categorized as a restaurant, meaning it can stay open at half capacity. That means the sprawling, multi-level marina structure on Lake Travis would be eligible to admit up to 2,500 people for this event.

The Texas Tribune reports that the venue will only be admitting 450 people, however, and that as of Wednesday night, only 84 tickets had been sold.

Barret Brannam, the venue’s owner, insists he is sticking to the governor’s guidelines. He says staff will be taking attendees’ temperatures at the entrance and requesting that they practice social distancing and wear masks. “[Vanilla Ice] has already been paid,” he told the Tribune. “If I cancel the show … I’m just flushing money down the toilet. … If only a couple hundred people come out, at least those people got to see a cool show.”

As of Thursday morning, there have been 174,826 reported cases of coronavirus in Texas and 2,518 deaths. On June 1 the state reported 1,100 new cases while yesterday more than 8,100 were added to their tally, making Texas one of the current hotspots for the virus in America. In Travis County, where Austin is located, there have been 10,124 reported cases and 128 deaths.

The Emerald Point Bar & Grill’s website makes no mention of social distancing or hygiene precautions that will be taken to prevent concertgoers from becoming infected with the virus.

[via The Austin Chronicle]

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