LATEST PAPER
79° Good Evening
79° Good Evening
Entertainment

Alex Rodriguez, Passion Pit to headline OZY Fest in Central Park this summer

Hip-hop artist Common, HQ host Scott Rogowsky and comedian Michelle Wolf will also make appearances at the two-day festival in July.

Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, pictured, will headline

Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, pictured, will headline the 2018 OZY Festival in Central Park this July along with former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Getty Images for Spotify / Alli Harvey

Central Park’s OZY Fest — the annual hub for music, arts, politics, tech and food now in its third year — has announced synth-rockers Passion Pit and former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as this year’s headliners, along with a host of political figures including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and DNC chairman Tom Perez.

The festival, which drew 5,000 people to Rumsey Playfield last year, has expanded to a two-day run on July 21-22.

“[Passion Pit] are some of the best musicians on the planet. They’re fun, they’re lively, they have so many people fired up about coming to see them,” OZY CEO Carlos Watson told amNewYork. “And A-Rod’s been one of the biggest stars on the planet. Obviously he’s a World Series champ, but he’s turned himself into a really interesting commentator and businessman.”

Watson continued: “I think that kind of willingness, even through personal trials and tribulations, to see beyond what people might think of him as — that’s the type of person OZY Fest loves.”

The latest additions join an eclectic lineup that already includes musicians Common and Grouplove, authors Roxane Gay and Salman Rushdie, HQ host Scott Rogowsky, and comedian Michelle Wolf, who recently dominated headlines with her White House Correspondents’ Dinner set.

Martha Stewart, Chelsea Handler, Malcolm Gladwell and Laverne Cox are also set to appear.

“At its best, OZY is like an amazing wonderland,” Watson said. “You might think you came to eat food with [celebrity chef] Roy Choi, but then you realize Salman Rushdie had a big idea that you have to hear.”

The theme of this year’s festival is “See Beyond,” an idea that Watson found vital while putting together the 2018 guest list.

“I feel like we’re in this moment where we all realize, in lots of ways, that we live in our own, small world,” Watson said. “A private echo chamber. Sometimes it’s a digital echo chamber. And rather than pull apart there’s an opportunity for us all to see beyond the moment, see beyond the headlines, and come on out together to see a broader, bigger world.”

The hope, Watson explained, is A-listers like A-Rod and Passion Pit draw in a crowd who will then have their borders expanded by the sheer variety of the event.

“One of my favorite quotes is, after OZY Fest last year, someone wrote online, ‘I came to this thing called OZY Fest expecting to have my mind blown and instead I had my mind grown,’” Watson said. “I love that. You may come because you have a particular love of Scott Rogowsky and HQ . . . or you may come just because you love Laverne Cox. Whatever reason you come, I hope you end up bumping into other people and other ideas.”

Tickets for OZY Fest 2018 are on-sale now, starting at $55 for an individual Sunday ticket, $75 for an individual Saturday ticket and $98 for an individual two-day pass.

Entertainment photos & videos