News of the OZY Fest cancellation wasn’t sitting well with out-of-state ticket holders on Friday, with many traveling from far and wide to be at the two-day Central Park event — which cost a whopping $399 to attend.
New Yorkers, on the other hand — who blasted the city for renting out a typically free public space and “going capitalist” — were ecstatic.
“FANTASTIC news,” wrote one Twitter user from Forest Hills.
The local Twitter account Boerum Hill Neighbors took a shot at Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and said: “I’m glad @OZYfest is cancelled, and I hope @mitchell_silver will reconsider selling off New York’s great public spaces to private interests.”
The Parks Department had agreed to close down portions of Central Park’s Great Lawn for nine days to make way for OZY Fest organizers and give them time to prepare and clean up. New Yorkers were outraged over the move and ripped the city for allowing the “pay-to-play festival” to go on.
“For a dense city like New York, the park is our common backyard,’’ said former parks commish Adrian Benepe, who worked under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and serves as the senior vice president for The Trust for Public Land.
“To deny people who pay tax dollars the reasonable use of the Great Lawn for a large commercial event, it’s really a break with precedent,” he told the New York Times.
People from other big cities across America were also blasting local officials for holding such a pricey event, which was described by OZY Fest officials as “a truly unique blend of thought leadership alongside incredible music, comedy and food.”
Numerous celebrities and influencers were slated to attend — including musician John Legend, chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Rachael Ray, comedian Trevor Noah and even 2020 Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke.
The festival wound up being canceled on Friday due to the extreme heat.
“Fix the subway you big headed monster,” another said.
Folks who traveled from out of town to attend the celebrity get-together couldn’t believe that the event was scrapped — and were wanting to know when they’d be getting their money back.
“Why cancel only one day before?” wrote one person on OZY Fest’s Facebook page. “The forecast has been known for a long time. Two hotel nights in New York and two VIP tickets. Refund?”
Stars such as John Legend and Megan Rapinoe were slated to appear at this year’s festival.Getty Images for Ozy Media
Linda Dowell said, “Well we just landed from Texas (where it’s even hotter) to attend. What a bummer. Maybe since A-Rod is free Sunday he should take me to brunch.”
Adriana Allen asked, “How are we supposed to go about refunds? We paid a decent amount of money for these tickets only to find out less than 24 hours before that its cancelled??”
Organizers released a statement on Friday afternoon, saying they’d be “issuing refunds to all ticket holders” — but didn’t offer details on when this would happen.
“Ticket holders will receive an email by tomorrow regarding the process to claim a refund,” the statement said.
Users were comparing the situation to what happened with Fyre Fest — the infamous 2017 festival that also promised celebrities and A-list talent but didn’t follow through.
“Ridiculous that a summer festival in the middle of July wasn’t equipped for a heatwave,” wrote Dani Santisteban on the OZY Fest page. “Woulda probably been a #fyrefest in nyc. “