Coronavirus fears have forced an early closure of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, event officials announced Wednesday.
The Houston Rodeo launched its 2020 edition on March 3 and was expected to run through March 22. Its concert lineup only saw select artists perform as a result of the abrupt cancellation. Scheduled performances that will no longer pan out include shows from Dierks Bentley, Gwen Stefani, Khalid, Lizzo, Chris Stapleton and Luke Bryan.
“In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to close,” reads a statement on the RodeoHouston website. “The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the City’s order. The Rodeo is deeply saddened; however, the safety and well-being of our guests and our community is our top priority. Out of precaution, the City has decided that this is the best course of action for our community.”
A ticket refund process is still in the works and will be communicated once it is finalized.
— RODEOHOUSTON (@RODEOHOUSTON) March 11, 2020
Tickets for the remainder of Houston Rodeo events will be refunded, according to organizers.
The Rodeo’s cancellation marks the second high-profile gathering to be called off in Texas. Last week, Austin’s SXSW was cancelled at the guidance of health authorities. Prior to its axing, representatives from tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Intel had withdrawn their scheduled appearances at the conference. An online petition had also been circulating to call off the annual media event, citing travel restrictions and health concerns.
Ultra Music Festival, Coachella and Stagecoach have also been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As for the Houston Rodeo, fans will have to wait until next year for the festivities to resume.
“We look forward to the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to continue to promote agriculture, education, entertainment and Western heritage,” the event’s website reads. Additional information and updates are forthcoming.
Stay tuned here for the latest live events updates due to the coronavirus.