What you missed in Columbus for Aug. 16

More local venues to require proof of vaccination for concerts, the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Just as concerts and events started ramping up again, cancelations return as another wave of COVID-19 hits.

Following on the heels of AEG Presents, which last week announced a coronavirus vaccine requirement for attendees at all of its events nationwide, Live Nation said that it would also require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from all concertgoers beginning on Oct. 4 where permitted by law.

“Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows,” Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “As of October 4th we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the US.”

In Columbus, local promoter Celebrity Etc. Presents announced that attendees at all of its shows will be required to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event beginning on Sept. 1. Celebrity Etc. is a major booker at venues such as the Athenaeum Theatre, Rumba Cafe and Skully’s, among others. Prior to Sept. 1, the promoter plans to work with artists to address each show on a case-by-case basis, so watch Facebook event pages and venue websites for concert updates.

With the Celebrity Etc. decision, a majority of Columbus venues will now require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, though there are still holdouts.

***

In national news, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan less than two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete troop withdrawal following nearly two decades of war.

The AP has a good rundown of developments you can read here

Additionally, now is a good time to revisit the Washington Post’s groundbreaking 2019 reporting on the Afghanistan Papers, which, boiled down to their essence, contended that top military and political leaders have known for at least a decade, if not longer, that the war in Afghanistan was unwinnable, and decisions regarding the U.S. occupation were continually extended as a means of kicking the can down the road to make it a problem for future administrations. 

With the Taliban again taking power, UN agencies have said the country is on the brink of “a humanitarian catastrophe,” with the UN Refugee Agency saying the greatest toll could be experienced by displaced women and children.

***

The Ohio Department of Health added 1,977 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, following case counts of 2,732 on Friday and 2,460 on Saturday. Almost the entire state, including Franklin County, is now experiencing high community spread of the coronavirus, owing to the extremely contagious delta variant. In better news, the state also reported 9,145 new first-dose vaccinations on Sunday, an increase over previous weeks. Ohio has now administered first doses to 5.9 million residents, or 50.6 percent of the population.

***

Finally, the Columbus Crew continued its skid over the weekend, extending its losing streak to four games with a 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire FC. The team will try to turn things around when it visits the New York Red Bulls for a game on Wednesday, Aug. 18.