Vanilla Ice Only Sold 284 Tickets to His COVID-19 Concert in Austin

Were low ticket sales the real reason the show was cancelled?

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Jul 3, 2020

Vanilla Ice was set to play a concert in Austin tonight, but following a major backlash for scheduling a show in the face of COVID-19 lockdown orders, the event was ultimately cancelled at the last minute. The '90s rap figure cited growing concerns over the coronavirus and the safety of his fans as the reason for cancelling, but it now appears the show may have been axed for an entirely different reason — incredibly low ticket sales.

As previously reported, the show at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill had made 2,500 tickets available for the Vanilla Ice concert — half of the venue's usual 5,000 capacity to help promote physical distancing. But as venue owner William Brannam has now revealed, only a measly 284 tickets for the event were actually sold before Vanilla Ice pulled the plug on Thursday (July 2), just one day before the actual show.

Speaking to ABC News [via Consequence of Sound], Brannam said 84 tickets had been sold on EventBrite, while all 96 available VIP tickets were sold, in addition to 104 tickets for seating in the venue's upper deck.

Do the math, and that's indeed just 284 tickets sold. For comparison, Vanilla Ice performed at the exact same venue previously and drew in a crowd of 1,800 paying customers.

When announcing the cancellation, however, Vanilla Ice made zero mention of actual ticket sales, tweeting: "Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Austin we're gonna move the concert to a better date. We were hoping for better Coronavirus numbers by July but unfortunately the numbers have increased quite a bit so for the safety and health of everyone we're going to stay home."
In addition to the reveal about dismal ticket sales, Brannam also said he'd received three death threats due to scheduling the concert. He also had booked fellow '90s act Color Me Badd for Saturday night (July 4), but that show was also rescheduled.

Last week, country musicians Chase Rice and Chris Janson played shows in the U.S., leading to a wave of backlash and some attempted explanations.

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