Food & Drink
EVENT: The Maybe Not-So-Great Googa Mooga?
by Lea Faminiano
[Photo by nycloveaffair]
So, what’s the deal, Googa Mooga? The music and food festival hybrid is a mere two years old, but has been having a difficult time getting on its feet due to a couple setbacks that have started to give the event a bad rep.
Despite last year’s hiccups, I was a huge supporter of Googa Mooga and really looking forward to the 2013 version especially after witnessing the turnaround from 2012’s Saturday meltdown (long lines, angry festival-goers, not enough food, so on) to Sunday’s clear improvement, but unfortunately, I never made it this year. I was on my way there Sunday at around 1 pm, already in Prospect Park and getting soaked, when I found out the event was canceled. Which confused me for a number of reasons.
At 11:17 am, while it was raining, an email went out to ticketholders stating that more Sunday tickets were available – at about 1 pm was when I found out it was canceled (an email went out to ticketholders at 2:05 pm). What a tease to the ones who headed down for the newly released tickets right? First of all, that’s a pretty long window between cancellation and formally letting everyone know – on my way back out of the park there were still dozens of people making their way through the pouring rain to get to Googa Mooga.
Secondly, if you say you’re a “rain or shine” event, shouldn’t you check with the park to make sure that a rainy event is okay? I’m a little surprised that Superfly, the entertainment company responsible for putting on Googa Mooga, didn’t seem to take this into consideration, especially since they’ve been able to pull off significantly larger events such as Bonnaroo.
My main concern is with the vendors – I’m sure this year there was a great push to the vendors with tons of hard work on their part to make sure there was enough food to go around for everyone, only for it to become a waste on Sunday. [Note: most of these vendors are offering discounts to Sunday ticketholders – even if you’re not one, go out and support the vendors on this list anyway!]
One positive thing I have to say for Googa Mooga though, is that they are really good at fixing their mistakes – and more specifically, issuing refunds. VIP ticketholders last year were issued refunds ($249.50 to be exact) for what was said to be a disappointing experience. In light of this year’s cancellation, Brokelyn recently stated that Sunday drink tickets as well as Sunday VIP passes will be refunded. It’s still early to tell but I’m wondering if there will be some sort of reimbursement for those who bought Friday/Sunday tickets, as the free admission for Sunday was incentive to buy Friday concert tickets.
What’s next for Googa Mooga? Though there seem to be so many haters, I am still confident that a food and music festival of this caliber can be pulled off – maybe not at Prospect Park, and definitely with a lot of changes, but I think foodies all over the city are interested in seeing what goes down with the Great Googa Mooga.