5/21/2012 09:39:00 AM

Great GoogaMooga Frustrates Crowds, Vows to Do Better Next Year

This weekend, hungry New Yorkers flocked to Brooklyn's Prospect Park to check out the first-ever GoogaMooga festival. And what a beautiful weekend it was to stand in line. Many revelers were disappointed to see waits for food that stretched into oblivion at the fest, but it was even worse for those who waited, only to be told that the vendors had run out of grub. By our count, the first purveyors on Saturday started closing up shop around 3PM, and beer taps were going dry even before that.

One lady in a blue sun dress nearly started the Occupy ExtraMooga movement at the Umami Burger's booth when the organizers came out and said that there was just no way they would be able to feed everyone. Her call to the crowd? "I'm drunk and starving!" Saturday saw a lot of grousing from attendees, with a typical overheard quote being "the only line worth waiting for is the one for the exit." Thankfully, Sunday was better as the food vendors upped their games and brought in more portions (it also was less crowded, as many folks who saw Twitter light up with festival-related snark probably decided to stay away).

The organizers knew they had a situation on their hand, sending out Tweets meant to mollify the crowds throughout the day, and issuing an apology first thing Monday morning. "All things considered it was a great weekend of food, music and fun. Of course, we know there were problems and we have apologized to any frustrated festival goers. We'll improve. First year, always a lot to learn," said co-founder of Superfly Presents, Rick Farman. They point to the fact that "New Yorker's have a voracious appetite," and highlighted the the hard work of the vendors, who heard the discontent and went out of their way to bring in more portions the next day.

One thing the festival seemed to get right was the entertainment. The expansive lawn was full of folks chilling out on blankets, waiting to hear acts like Holy Ghost! and Hall & Oates. Talks were given by notables like April Bloomfield, David Chang and Ruth Reichl, while Julie Reiner of Clover Club and Lani Kai took over the park's Boathouse to whip out classic cocktails to the thirsty crowds (many of which seemed to give up on eating entirely and fill up on booze). The gorgeous weather and convivial vibe were impossible to argue with.

The term "Great GoogaMooga!" is slang for something totally awesome - like "how bout that!" While this weekend it was more of an exasperated sigh ("Great Googamooga, what on earth is going on here?"), it seems that the folks behind the fest are listening. If the improvements that were quickly instituted for Sunday are any indication, next year's shindig could make Googamooga great once again.


  1. I live a block from Prospect Park.

    I knew this would be a good weekend to go away. I hope they pay to repair the damage they did to Prospect Park and it get repaired.

  2. I went on Saturday with friends and we all had a great time. We did the free part and yes, it was insanely crowded and the lines were insanely long. But what were people expecting? You are in a park, in NYC on a lovely sunny day. Did you expect no waits?

    I read this blog a lot and there are all these postings on how the trendy spots are impossible to get a table at and how people will wait 3+ hours for brunch. How was this any worse? It helped if each friend waited on a line and then you all got together and shared the bounty. We all had a great time. I guess we're not hard to please.

    GoogaMooga was a great food and music event. The sun was shining, good music was playing and good food was being prepared. And there was some decent eye candy while walking around.

    And for all the hipsters and yuppies that b**ched and moaned in the webosphere...those disgusting types of people will complain no matter what, so they shouldn't be paid any mind.