OZY Fest Is Canceled Due to Excessive Heat Warning in New York City

The festival was planned for Central Park

Video: Breana Mallamaci / Editor: Nick Gardner

Update | July 19:  On Friday afternoon New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled OZY Fest due to an excessive heat warning for the city this weekend.

“The health and safety of New Yorkers is our most important concern, and we are left with no other option but to cancel all large scale park events throughout New York City Saturday and Sunday. We are working hand-in-hand with OZY and others to make this as smooth a process as possible,” said de Blasio.

“We absolutely cannot put any festival-goers at risk. We are so disappointed, and we hope to work with the City of New York in the future,” said OZY CEO Carlos Watson.

Organizers say all tickets will be refunded.

Original story: OZY Media, the Silicon Valley-based media and events company, is hosting its fourth OZY Fest this weekend in New York’s Central Park. In previous years, the festival was held at smaller locations like SummerStage. But this year the two-day music, politics and food festival got approval for the Great Lawn.

According to The New York Times, using Great Lawn is not sitting well with some New Yorkers who would rather see the Lawn used for recreational activities than for a for-profit festival. However, OZY Media co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson told Adweek that securing the location affords the company the opportunity to do things that haven’t been possible for other festivals or in years past for OZY Fest.

We sat down with Watson to discuss his vision for OZY, how the festival is evolving and what type of opportunity it presents for brands.