Rapper Vanilla Ice is plowing ahead with his plan to hold an Independence Day concert, despite growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, according to TMZ. The “Ice Ice Baby” rapper is scheduled to take the stage in front of 2,500 fans in Lake Travis, Texas over the weekend. Travis County Health Department’s spokesperson, Jen Samp, was not too fond of the gathering and provided her thoughts to the outlet.
“This is not wise regardless of who is performing at any gathering right now. The best way to be nostalgic is by protecting your parents and grandparents and staying home,” she told the outlet.
Vanilla Ice is scheduled to play a show Friday night at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill, which is located thirty minutes outside of Austin, Texas. The event, called The Independence Day Throwback Beach Party, will be held in the outdoor area of the multi-level restaurant.
The event comes as the coronavirus is a growing concern in Texas. The state hit a record when over 8,000 cases were confirmed on Wednesday and hospitalization rates have also hit very high levels. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott recently ordered all bars closed and restaurant capacities limited to 50 percent. The Emerald Point Bar & Grill can hold Vanilla Ice’s concert — as well as several others over the weekend — because it is technically considered a restaurant, not a bar.
Concert organizers did not entirely ignore concerns over the virus. There were several precautions taken to protect concertgoers. Ticket capacity of the event was capped at 50 percent to account for social distancing guidelines and those wishing to purchase tickets were given a warning.
“Please note any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed while in attendance at the event,” the warning partially read.
Despite the precautions, the Travis County Health Department spokesperson did not believe that anyone should attend the rapper’s Independence Day Throwback Beach Party. If they did, Samp provided tips to keep safe.
“Don’t go to this concert. If you do go to the concert or anywhere else publicly, wear a mask and socially distance, have sanitizer in your pocket and wash your hands every time you arrive at a new place.”
Samp went on to state her concerns that concertgoers would not follow proper protocols at the show. The spokesperson worried that alcohol consumption would limit awareness and many would touch their faces and possibly forget to wash their hands.