2020 RodeoHouston to End Early Due to Growing Coronavirus Concerns
The 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will end early due to mounting concern about the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. News channel KPRC 2 reports that a member of the Houston City Council confirmed the cancelation after a meeting held on Wednesday morning (March 11), and rodeo organizers officially announced the news at about noon local time.
"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. The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the City’s order," a statement posted to RodeoHouston's website reads. "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."
RodeoHouston 2020 will officially close at 4PM local time on March 11, KHOU reports. Information about ticket refunds has yet to be announced, but is coming, per rodeo organizers.
The 2020 Houston Rodeo kicked off on March 3 and was scheduled to run through March 22. A long list of country performers have already played at this year's event, including Midland, Willie Nelson, Maren Morris and Chris Young. Kane Brown was due to play on Wednesday night, and other upcoming performances originally planned for the remainder of RodeoHouston 2020 include appearances by Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan.
There are currently over 25 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Texas, 14 of which are in the Houston area. The announcement of RodeoHouston 2020's cancelation came just after the World Heath Organization (WHO) officially declared the outbreak a pandemic.
RodeoHouston is the latest in a long string of events and festivals impacted by the coronavirus. Music and tech conference SXSW was canceled for 2020 on March 6, and Nashville's Tin Pan Songwriters Festival has also been postponed. Stagecoach and Coachella are postponed for 2020 until the fall as well.
Additionally, numerous artists have been forced to cancel international and domestic shows due to concerns of the disease's spread, travel restrictions or government mandates. Most recently, the Zac Brown Band postponed their spring 2020 The Owl Tour.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Which Tours and Festivals Are Canceled (and Not)?