Last weekend, I had a blast at the inaugural OZY Fusion Fest
, a menagerie of music, food, pop culture and activism in the heart of Central Park. OZY
is one of many magazines venturing into the live festival space
—New York Magazine
holds the Vulture Festival
every year, Entertainment Weekly
is hosting its first-ever Popfest
in October, and Complex
is hosting its inaugural ComplexCon
in November. I’m investigating the motivations behind and trajectory of this trend for an upcoming article.
In advertising OZY Fusion Fest, OZY aggressively pushed forward the mantra “THINKING IS A LOST ART.” Indeed, the world is so diverse, yet many of us seem to be consuming news and information with even more discretion (read: prejudice), embracing echo chambers, thinking narrowly rather than openly. Life becomes most exciting in the form of a giant game of connect-the-dots, a quest for common ground, rather than for conflict or isolation.
In this vein, the OZY lineup was super eclectic; at one point, Senator Cory Booker was giving a talk about inequality on my left, Top Chef Alex Guarnaschelli was doing a dessert demo on my right, the XQ Super School Movement
was advocating for high-school reform behind me, and in front of me was neo-soul singer Andra Day belting her heart out onstage. It was reminiscent of Pop-Up Magazine
, except tailored for the quintessentially scatterbrained, idea-hungry OZY staff writers and audiences.