The May 2012 Great GoogaMooga festival rocks Prospect Park
Published: Monday, June 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 13:06
Brooklyn’s Prospect Park found itself rumbling under the feet of thousands of excited patrons last month, as food and music lovers alike gathered in anticipation of The Great GoogaMooga Festival.
Scheduled for May 19 and 20, the celebration brought over a hundred food and drink aficionados together, touting their most cherished recipes and brews for attendees.
The festival offered free entry, but did not guarantee admission to all; in order to be allowed into the closed-off area of Prospect Park where the event was being hosted, patrons must have been in the possession of tickets. These were acquired through registration on the GoogaMooga official website, by submitting certain codes on the site as early as March 15, more than two months before the event.
Dozens of Orbit “ambassadors” walked throughout the fields leading up to the various stages, handing out free packs of gum. Orbit is one of the nearly 30 partners of the 2012 Great GoogaMooga Festival.
Although it took some maneuvering to avoid the thousands of GoogaMooga wine and beer plastic “glasses” discarded throughout the park, the highly-coordinated performance spaces were easy to navigate.
Despite being primarily known as a food festival, the 2012 Great GoogaMooga featured 20 scheduled musical performances over the course of the weekend. Saturday’s headliner The Roots drew an audience of all ages to the main stage.
“How are we doin’, Brooklyn?” shouted lead vocalist Tariq Trotter, better known as Black Thought, to the thousands of fans crowded in the huge field before the stage that evening.
Their set included the high-energy, live-instrumental style that has long been their trademark, and was the last event of the evening.
Other musical performances included Fort Lean and Bear Hands earlier in the day, and the Sunday lineup featured acts like Fitz and the Tantrums, with Daryl Hall and John Oates as the headliner.
The event, however, was not entirely successful. For a festival that is centered largely on food, there was not much of it to go around on May 19, the Saturday and first day of the event.
The patrons that spent $250 to receive Extra Mooga tickets, an experience that was marketed to consist of “all-inclusive food, from tastes to heaping plates of [their] favorites” as well as unlimited wine, beer and “exclusive cocktail offerings” were not able to sample a large range of the dishes initially offered, as supplies dwindled by early afternoon.
“We’re like a family-type business, and we care about everything we do,” said Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly Presents. “That being said, we learned a lot this weekend in terms of how to do something like this.”
In response to the large influx of complaints, festival coordinators offered full refunds to Extra Mooga patrons (provided the festival is contacted within 30 days) in a letter sent to every ticket-holder.
Superfly Presents and GoogaMooga co-founders offered their apologies and entreated patrons to return next year.
“We promised you a terrific Extra Mooga experience this past weekend and we didn’t deliver, particularly in providing an adequate amount of food and beverage on Saturday,” stated the letter to Extra Mooga patrons, made available on their website. “We’re very sorry if we disappointed you.”
The coordination of entrance into the festival also seemed clumsy, as even the end of the day found hundreds of patrons fighting for entrance through very limited entry-ways.
Despite a few hiccups, however, the 2012 Great GoogaMooga Festival offered patrons a wide array of food, drink and entertainment – and a lot of it for free.