Politics meets music at OZY Fest, where John Legend and John Kasich headline

There’s something for everyone at this two-day festival: Rachael Ray, Spike Lee and Trevor Noah are also on the lineup.

Bring your R&B-loving friends, activist pals and stand-up enthusiasts to OZY Fest, where politics, comedy and music collide.

The fourth annual festival hits Central Park’s Great Lawn this summer, with more than a dozen celebrities, musicians and political and “thought” leaders on the diverse lineup.

Musical headliners John Legend and Miguel will be joined by R&B artist Jazzy Amra and New Jersey rock band ARIZONA. More acts are set to be announced.

The event, which runs July 20 and 21, has been branded as “New York City’s answer to SXSW,” meaning it aims to combine the experiences of a food hall, TED talk, musical festival and more into a two-day affair. Rounding out the “food” portion of that list are celebrity chefs Rachael Ray, Padma Lakshmi ("Top Chef") and Marcus Samuelsson ("Chopped"). Politicians Stacey Abrams and former Ohio governor John Kasich join “thought leaders” Spike Lee ("BlacKkKlansman") and Mark Cuban ("Shark Tank") to ensure the event packs in social and political issues. Trevor Noah, Dulcé Sloan and Ronny Chieng will handle the comedy. 

OZY Fest CEO Carlos Watson told amNewYork ahead of last year’s fest his goal is always to redefine what one might expect from an NYC festival experience.

“One of my favorite quotes is, after OZY Fest, 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 … Whatever reason you come, I hope you end up bumping into other people and other ideas.” Regardless of what draws fans to the festival, he added, there’s “nothing else out there” like OZY.

More than 20,000 people turned out to see Passion Pit, Common, Hillary Clinton and more at last year’s festival, according to a news release. Pre-sale tickets are currently available for purchase at ozyfest.com. Single day tickets range from $60 for general admission to $220 VIP. 

Meghan Giannotta