The Great GoogaMooga Festival Was Actually, Well, Great

One GoogaMooga festivalgoer defends the mess

The GoogaMooga

Maybe it should be called the "Mediocre GoogaMooga," or the "Just OK GoogaMooga." The "Eh? GoogaMooga"?

People seemed to have had a lot of things to complain about at Prospect Park’s first 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 GoogaMooga was still a festival virgin: Things are supposed to go wrong the first time around. And then 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 in an hour because they ran out of bread? Amateur hour. And the cellphone service sucked which, of course, was another thing to complain about.

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 things like 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, 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 informative 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 try 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.