New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that this weekend’s music, politics and food festival Ozy Fest in Central Park has been canceled due to severe weather.
“We have instructed that the [New York City] Triathlon and Ozy Fest be canceled given the heat conditions,” the Mayor said at a press conference on Friday (July 19).
On Thursday night, de Blasio signed a declaration of a heat emergency for New York City which will see temperatures of nearly 100 degrees this weekend. According to the mayor, the heat index indicates that while the temperature will read 97 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday, it will feel like 110 to 111 degrees throughout the weekend.
De Blasio explained that city officials came to the determination to cancel the festival stating “it was not appropriate for [Ozy] to go on.”
“I was in the room when we were discussing it. I don’t know what Ozy Fest feels personally. I do not know their view,” Mayor de Blasio said. “The facts are the facts. Consistent reports from the National Weather Service putting us at 110 and greater on the heat index, 105 is the trigger, we’re saying we’re done here. This thing needs to be canceled.”
According to NYC Park Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, the park’s contract with Ozy Fest stipulates that city officials have the authority to cancel the event in the case of rain or extreme heat if the heat index exceeds 105 degrees.
“So, for the safety of the public, for the performers and for our responders who would be on the scene, we felt the best thing to do was to cancel the event,” Silver said.
Ozy Fest has confirmed the cancellation on its social media sites, writing, “As many of you know, there is a city-wide heat emergency. To ensure everyone’s safety, Ozy Fest will not be going ahead as scheduled this weekend.”
The statement continues, “We are so disappointed and sorry that this has happened. We are currently working with the City to figure out alternative plans. We will be in touch with ticket holders and the media as soon as we have more information.”
Ozy Fest was slated to take place this weekend at the Central Park’s Great Lawn with appearances from Spike Lee, Megan Rapinoe, Mark Cuban, Trevor Noah, John Legend, Beto O’Rourke and many more. The event would have been co-hosted by Ozy founder Carlos Watson and Alex Rodriguez.
— OZY Fest (@OZYfest) July 19, 2019