Loophole Allows Vanilla Ice Concert in Texas

Austin venue is technically a restaurant
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2020 4:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Vanilla Ice seems disinclined to stop, collaborate, and listen to health authorities in Texas, where he is going ahead with a concert Friday despite the state's surge in coronavirus infections. Gov. Greg Abbott closed bars and placed limits on large gatherings last week, but the rapper's Austin concert is being allowed under a loophole, the Austin Chronicle reports. The venue, Emerald Point Bar & Grill, has been classed as a restaurant because more than 51% of its sales are food. Abbott's order reduced restaurant capacity to 50%, which could still allow a crowd of 2,500 at the massive, 5,000-capacity establishment.

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The venue, which has a large outdoor general admission concert space, will feature another '90s act, Color Me Badd, on July 4th, EW.com reports. Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, shared a video of a packed concert on Instagram earlier this week. "I can’t wait to get back to this," he wrote. "The Nineties were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers." The promoter for the Vanilla Ice event told the Chronicle that 2,500 tickets would be on sale, but venue owner Barret Brannam tells the Texas Tribune that he has set maximum occupancy to 450—and as of Wednesday night, only 84 tickets had been sold. He says the venue has been taking safety precautions, and it's "really not as gross as people are making it out to be." (Read more Vanilla Ice stories.)

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