The Great Googa Mooga Festival
Maybe it should be called the “Mediocre Googa Mooga,” or the “Just Okay Googa
Mooga.” The “Eh? Googa Mooga”? People seemed to have had a lot of things to
complain about this weekend at Prospect Park’s first big festival. The Facebook rants
this Monday morning were specifically non enthusiastic about the way the fest
panned out. I beg to differ. The first thing to keep in mind is that even though it was
put on by the Bonnaroo crew, The Great Googa Mooga was still a festival virgin:
Things are supposed to go wrong the first time around. And then of course hopefully get
better the next year. Yes, the lines to get food and drinks were way, way too long.
Waiting for 45 minutes for a $15 Luke’s Lobster Roll and then being told to come
back later because they ran out of bread? Amateur hour. And the cell phone
service sucked which, of course, was another thing to complain about.
But listen, I’ve been to a lot of festivals. A lot of big well-oiled machines and a lot of
small funky parties trying to build a following. I have to say, all things considered,
the people behind Googa did a very good job. The beer and wine tents were
impressive, ranging from Kelso, to Pretty Things, to a special brew from Brooklyn
Brewery created just for the Mooga. The wine tent (thankfully a little less crowded)
brought in local favorites like Red Hook Winery and Gotham Wines, in addition to
classic roses from the Basque and crispy whites from the Alsace.
Getting down to the food: A really great selection of favorite restaurants in
Manhattan and Brooklyn. Blue Ribbon fried chicken, Roberta’s pizza, Vinegar Hill
House, Dumont Burger, Russ & Daughters – the list goes on. Nothing was short of
fantastic, and even the stands that had short or no lines at all were still awesome. I
had an amazing Thai sausage from DBGB’s that I picked up for the wait at Roberta’s.
Spotted Pig’s burger tasted almost as good as it does at the West Village location.
And Do or Dine’s Foi Gras Doughnuts were, well, as interesting as you might suspect.
Besides the savory, there were also installments of sweets: Momofuku Milk Bar and
Big Gay Ice Cream just to name a couple. Third Rail Coffee, Brooklyn Soda Works,
and People’s Pops, were also in the mix, as was an information booth dedicated to
local farming communities and how to get involved. There was no food or drink
experience left unturned.
Overall, there were a lot of great options for what to eat and drink
throughout the day. It was a free festival, allowing people to sample some things they
may have otherwise not had an opportunity to try; to see some music, and lay out
blankets with friends and enjoy the beautiful weekend weather. Sure, a few things
could have been done differently, but come on folks, let’s give the Mooga a free pass
here and be thankful to live in a place where this kind of stuff is just
another “option” for the weekend.