10:36 AM PT -- Vanilla Ice just canceled his performance in Austin ... saying he didn't know the numbers were so crazy in Austin. The rapper said the concert had been booked a long time ago, but with cases spiking in Texas and across the nation, Vanilla Ice says the best thing to do right now is cancel it and keep everyone safe. Good call.
Vanilla Ice is offering fans a warning -- come see my concert at your own risk, cuz it could cost you your life, but the local health department's going even further ... saying stay away from his show.
The "Ice Ice Baby" rapper is set to perform Friday night at Emerald Point Bar & Grill in the popular tourist spot of Lake Travis ... 30 minutes outside of downtown Austin. The concert's being dubbed The Independence Day Throwback Beach Party at a multi-tier outdoor venue that can host as many as 5,000 fans -- but due to social distancing, they're only selling 2,500 tickets.
Fans wanting to buy tix are hit with a warning: “Important notice re COVID-19: 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 event organizer is solely responsible for the health and safety of this event. We encourage you to follow the organizer’s safety policies, as well as local laws and restrictions.”
That warning isn't cutting it with the Travis County Health Dept. ... whose spokesperson, Jen Samp, tells 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."
The "nostalgic line" is a clear shot at Ice's IG post promoting the concert.
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The rapper posted this video over the weekend showing packed concertgoers. He captioned the video, "I can’t wait to get back to this. 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. And Mortal Kombat is still better than fortnight but we got out of the house, We danced, we invented house parties in the 90s. The last of the great decades."
Samp isn't getting sucked in by all that '90s talk. She's flat-out saying, "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."
She added the fact people will be drinking booze, means they'll be less aware of their actions ... like touching their faces and forgetting to wash hands.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott's recently ordered all bars closed and capped restaurant capacity to 50 percent. The order comes on the heels of the state hitting a new record of cases ... with 8,076 reported Wednesday. Hospitalizations have also reached dangerous levels.
Emerald Point Bar & Grill -- which, BTW, is hosting other music acts the entire weekend -- remains open because technically it's considered a restaurant.