The Great GoogaMooga: A Tale of Two Festivals

This past weekend The Great GoogaMooga took over Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for the first event of its kind – a hybrid music/food/beer/wine festival. GoogaMooga was put together by Superfly Presents, the organization that produces Bonnaroo and Outside Lands each year. While Saturday was marred by long lines everywhere you looked and disorganization, which led to hundreds of complaints on both Twitter and Facebook, Superfly learned from the issues of the event’s first day and recovered for a much more successful Sunday.

[The Roots via @droolius]

The event’s founders have just released a statement about the inaugural fest…

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the inaugural Great GoogaMooga so special: all of the food & drink vendors, our excellent staff & volunteers, the amazing musicians & chefs, the park & mother nature for the unparalleled weather and most importantly, all of you fans!

And to those who had a frustrating experience on Saturday – we are sorry. We truly regret the first year glitches and really appreciate your patience as we worked to smooth them out. As with all our festivals, creating and providing an enjoyable experience for everyone is the driving force behind all that we do, and a responsibility we take very seriously. We couldn’t have done it without you and hope to see you all next year!

Jeff and I attended on Saturday and even though we were frustrated by the lines, we made the best of it and had a good time. While we didn’t make it back on Sunday, we were hopeful Superfly would take the criticisms coming at the company from all directions on Saturday to heart and it appears that’s exactly what happened. The terrible idea of having patrons exchange cash for “Googa Moola” was done away with on Sunday and ID’s were checked outside of the gates, which led to smaller lines for beer and wine on Day Two. If you searched “googamooga” on Twitter on Day One of the fest, all you saw was one complaint after another while it took 20 minutes of searching on Sunday to find a tweet with a complaint about yesterday’s festivities.

We’re glad the statement above mentions “next year” because if Superfly could fix so much in one day, imagine what they can do with a year?

Did you attend the debut of Great GoogaMooga? What did you think? 

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6 Responses

  1. As you said, Saturday was shitty, but you had to make the best of it. Walked in to Extra Mooga like we belonged there and I guess they thought we did, because no one stopped us or checked for wristbands. The free beer helped to wash the bad tastes out of our mouthes.

  2. I couldn’t believe I was at the same festival on Sunday. They really worked hard overnight to smooth out a lot of the issues which made Saturday just an awful experience. We got in, wristbanded, and had a glass wine in less then 10 minutes on Sunday vs HOURS on Saturday. Hall & Oates killed it and I made a great new discovery in Fitz & The Tantrums. Food lines also much more manageable on Sunday and I def didn’t leave hungry like I did on Saturday. I still think $12-15 for a PINT of beer in the tent was a tad outrageous.

  3. I got their on the early side on Saturday, before the mad crush of people (which was expected because of the fantastic weather), and was able to taste a decent of amount of food.

    Biggest complaint had to due with the fact that water wasn’t easily available. To have to wait in the same line as people who want beer didn’t make too much sense. Each vendor should have been selling bottles of water.

    While we certainly hold Superfly to high standard (which they’ve earned), like anything in its first year, it’s going to have its hiccups.

    Let’s remember that this was free to get into, and while that excuse doesn’t give it a free pass, just remember that it didn’t cost you anything to walk in the doors and see music at no cost.

  4. I actually don’t think they “fixed” much. Sure, the lines for beer were more efficient, but that had nothing to do with the food lines. The fact is, there were significantly less people there on Sunday. I’m sure Saturday was the more popular day to begin with (based on my limited sample size of friends and coworkers), but many people like Scotty just chose not to return on Sunday. The googa moola and ID situation had nothing to do with the fact that after struggling to find a manageable line, we decided to leave a food-centric festival to get something to eat. To me, it was pretty obvious that there were just too many people given free tickets. Maybe superfly thought more people would decide not to show up?

  5. @Dan I doubt they could have predicted they were going to get weather like that, and that made people who were on the fence decide to go. But yes, they may have over extended themselves with the guesstimate of how many people would actually show up.

    1. Jeff, you really don’t think they could have predicted that a weekend in mid-May had the potential to be 75 degrees and sunny? Even if it was 25% possibility, there should have been some sort of plan for 90% of ticket holders showing up (random guess for Saturday).

      I’m not trying to be negative on this, I had a great time and was very excited for this event and I’m sure it will be better next year (assuming they do it). They knew people were excited about this after the ticket situation, but they went ahead and released even more on two occasions. That just didn’t seem necessary.

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