Vanilla Ice has canceled his controversial Texas concert set for this weekend, claiming he didn't know about the surging cases of COVID-19 in the area.
The rapper was set to perform live on July 3 at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill near Austin. The scheduled concert had local health officials in an uproar, given that the state hit a new record of confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday.
"I'm going to give you a little update about the concert in Austin," Ice said in an Instagram video on Thursday. "Basically, I'm not going."
While the venue that Ice was playing typically hosts up to 5,000 fans, capacity had been cut by 50 percent due to social distancing measures. Multiple reports said fans buying tickets were also met with a warning about mass gatherings. The club has not revealed how many tickets were sold for the concert.
"I listen to my fans. I hear all you people," Ice said after announcing the cancelation. "I didn't know the numbers were so crazy in Austin."
The "Ice, Ice Baby" rapper added that the show was booked months ago when the common belief throughout the country was that the virus would be well under control by the summer.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 states, and 36 states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus. Texas is one of the states where the outbreak is currently severe.
"We just want to stay safe and want to make sure everybody is safe, so we were just hoping for a good time Fourth of July weekend," Ice said, "but it turned into a big focal point on me and it's not about that."
Prior to the cancelation, a Travis County Health Department spokesperson told TMZ, "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."