5 ways organizers have promised to improve GoogaMooga

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Will the hungry crowds be sated this year? Festival organizers hope so. Photo by Rachel DeLetto

Like we mentioned yesterday in the news that the Great GoogaMooga is returning to Prospect Park this summer, last year’s festival had a few logistical mishaps. Long food lines, a really, really expensive VIP area where even the celebrities brought to hang out with you were openly contemptuous skeptical of the price of admission and vegans being placed in special ejection seats if they asked for quinoa were only a few of the complaints that people had.

But, New Yorkers are always willing to give people second chances: don’t forget that Rudy Giuliani lost his first mayoral campaign. Uh, bad analogy maybe. Anyway, the organizers have promised that they learned from last year’s mishaps, so let’s take a look at some of the ImproovaMoovements on the horizon.


Vegetarians will be able to take advantage of “8 full-veg complete meals” according to the organizers, so non-meat eaters can gorge themselves on more than beer or nachos this year. While a look at the full list of vendors doesn’t include any well-known vegetarian or vegan places, you can always hope that Roberta’s will be cranking out some rosso pies or that one of the taco purveyors will offer a cactus taco. How hard is that, really?

If you’re bothered by vegans for whatever reason, you can rest assured that there will still be enough meat served to give you six heart attacks, courtesy of vendors like Pork Slope and the presence of a 22 foot-long steel pig in which various meats will be cooked, to the delight of most.


Why do you go to festivals, if not to stand in lines? Oh, fine. The organizers heard your complaints about this one, or more likely saw you angrily standing around sweating, with your arms crossed, and have promised more places to buy food, more people manning those locations and more food in general so it doesn’t all run out before everyone can enjoy a bacon flight. Same goes for beer, and while there’s no word on whether they’re going back to last year’s silly plastic cup and “Googa Moola” system, they ditched it by the end of the first day last time, so presumably you’ll be able to exchange currency for confidence just like everywhere else in Brooklyn.


Would it surprise you to learn that when you put 30,000 people in the middle of Prospect Park who all say “I’ll call you when I get there,” that cell phone service is a little spotty? Yeah, us too. So this year will feature temporary cell phone towers for the weekend so that you’ll be able to call your friends and try to hear them over the din of the crowd, or tweet “Soooo full. LOL.”


So, this whole thing is supposed to be a celebration of food and rockstar chefs, and no one really had huge complaints about the music last year. But while the presence of The Roots and all-female Led Zeppelin cover band Lez Zeppelin were nice last year, bullshit yacht rock relics Hall & Oates was not (please note that all opinions about Hall & Oates are mine alone and not Brokelyn’s). So this year we get free performances from Matt & Kim, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, De La Soul, singers of summer personified Cults and my hopeless crush, Sharon Van Etten (hi Sharon!), who could all headline Prospect Park shows on their own. Plus on Friday you can sit outside the ticketed area and listen to the Flaming Lips and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Speaking of the ticketed areas…


Remember how last year some people paid $250 for Extra Mooga access, only to have sentient pile of facial hair Chuck Klosterman tell them that was too much money, while he sat on stage talking to them? And then everyone got their money back? The GoogaMooga people do, and they’re determined not to make that mistake again. So the only exclusivity this year’s iteration will contain is the opening night concert for $50 and VIP Cocktail Experience, which costs eighty bucks.

“VIP Cocktail Experience” does sound a little snooty. But, considering you get five drink tickets good for fancy cocktails from cocktail bars like Death & Co. and PDT, it sounds like a more fair deal than last year. Also, you get your own special VIP entrance and VIP spot to watch the concert from. Just uh, try not to make too much eye contact with the people on the regular side of the festival who are plotting to put you against a VIP section of the wall should the revolution ever come.

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  1. Well, I went last year and between the crowds, the lines, the oppressive heat, I made a decision at the time that it was going to be a one-time thing. I’m not sure how that even could have been run more efficiently without severely limiting the number of attendees, or doubling the capacity of the booths.

  2. As someone who went for the lobster rolls and the free Preservation Hall Jazz Band show, I was pretty content last year. I’ve never been to a food fest type thing without at least some wait… I think the concept is a bit silly in general. However, I’m glad they’re making changes that will make it less of a shit show for everyone else!

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