Houston Rodeo Shuts Down Early Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has canceled the remainder of its 2020 events — including concerts headlined by Lizzo, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Gwen Stefani, Dierks Bentley and more — due to coronavirus concerns.

The announcement came soon after the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic; there have been 25 cases of COVID-19 in Texas, including 14 in the Houston area.

“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,” organizers announced Wednesday. “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.”

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner also imposed a seven-day emergency health declaration. “This decision has not come easily, but the health and safety of the people in our region is paramount,” Turner said (via the Houston Chronicle).

The 2020 Houston Rodeo began March 3rd and was scheduled to conclude March 22nd; prior to its cancelation, artists like Willie Nelson, Chance the Rapper, Maren Morris and NCT 127 have performed at this year’s event.

The Houston Rodeo follows fellow Texas festival SXSW; that fest canceled its 2020 festivities in response to the growing pandemic. Festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach have also been postponed until later in the year.

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