Vanilla Ice is throwing a Fourth of July weekend concert right in the heart of a pandemic hotspot in Texas.
The rapper will perform this Friday at a concert venue in Austin, where all the bars are otherwise closed due to COVID-19. The concert is titled the Independence Day Throwback Beach Party and it's happening due to a legal loophole. The venue – Emerald Point Bar & Grill, located on the shores of Lake Travis – is technically a restaurant, even though it also has a large capacity outdoor general admission concert space. So fans don't have to follow current recommended coronavirus guidelines that seek to eliminate large crowds.
“I can’t wait to get back to this,” the “Ice Ice Baby” singer posted on Instagram along with some of his previous packed concert footage. “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 … Mortal Kombat is still better than Fortnight … the last of the great decades.”
The concert is selling 2,500 tickets, which is roughly half of the venue's potential capacity. Tickets, selling on Eventbrite, range $25-$300 – the latter is sold out.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all the bars in Texas to re-close last Friday due to a large surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Texas also announced 8,076 new cases, a record daily high, despite tests being increasingly in short supply. The test positivity rate for tests the Austin area is now at 28%, according to local news.