OZY Fest—a real festival that has nothing to do with Ozzy Osbourne, and that bills itself as "part music festival, part TED Talk, part food fair," which just seems like a surefire recipe for a smugness overdose—is coming to Central Park for its third annual weekend of polite conversation and polite musical performances. And they have quite the huge lineup filled with disparate, random personalities this year, including the just-announced Hillary Clinton, comedians Michelle Wolf and Chelsea Handler, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, writer Malcolm Gladwell, author Salman Rushdie, activist Rose McGowan, and more.
Yeah, you're not getting off that easy. There's also actress Laverne Cox, sportscaster Jemele Hill, billionaire Tom Steyer, comedian Hasan Minaj, designers Christian Siriano and Isaac Mizrahi, legend Martha Stewart, J-Lo's boyfriend A-Rod, writer Roxane Gay, celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Roy Choi, Padma Lakshmi, CNN correspondents Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, and honestly I don't want to keep listing everyone, but you get the point, there's a lot of interesting-ish people coming to this thing. The musical performances will be courtesy of Passion Pit, Common, Young the Giant, and Grouplove. Also, HQ host Scott Rogowsky, Trump punching bag Rep. Mark Sanford, and alleged Beyonce biter Sanaa Lathan will be there, because OZY Fest is truly a buffet of names you've heard before.
If you think I'm being too cynical about TED Talk: Central Park Edition, then let's see what festival founder Carlos Watson's vision for the event really is. “The whole mission of the festival is to bring diverse voices to one stage, and expose people to unexpected perspectives,” he told the Daily News. “In years past, people who purchased a ticket to see Jason Derulo have been totally wowed by Jeb Bush.” I guarantee that no one has ever uttered the words "I was totally wowed by Jeb Bush"—but please, for the love of god, if you have been wowed by Jeb Bush, if have even been huh'd by Jeb Bush, let us know in the comments.
Adding to the fun, this year's theme is "See Beyond," which has something to do with the evils of social media: "People are tired of living in their Facebook bubbles," Watson said, who apparently has never met someone who lives in NYC. "Who says you can't like Roxane Gay the author and Scott Rogowsky from HQ? We think diversity is magic." Ah yes, the classic Roxane Gay/Scott Rogowsky dichotomy.
OZY Fest takes place July 21st and 22nd at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Tickets, which cost between $79 and $306 dollars, can be purchased here. Just think of what they could do if they pivoted to being an Australian culture festival: