The Great GoogaHangover, Part II: Losers and losers

Probably not the lasting image they wanted. Photo by Mary Dorn
Probably not the lasting image they wanted. Photo by Mary Dorn

So now that the Great GoogaMooga has once again managed to become a complete clusterfuck, it’s only fair to ask if the festival is cursed, right? Whether the Nethermead is on top an Indian burial ground that we don’t know about, some other supernatural force doesn’t want a music festival in Prospect Park or “April showers” are now “May showers,” the point remains: the story on GoogaMooga is what didn’t happen again, as opposed to what did. There weren’t many winners this weekend, so instead let’s go through the losers. And losers.

LOSERS: Sunday ticket-holders
Well, if you were lazy about it and weren’t planning on showing up until 1 you probably did alright. But the people who showed up, waited around in the rain and then got bupkis for it fared worse than anyone at the festival. Except for…

LOSERS: Vendors
Yikes. After all the work they had to put in to prep their food and booths (see: PizzaMoto’s 1400 large pies), to have a whole day just be a wash has to just be the worst. Not to mention breaking down in the rain can’t be fun.

LOSERS: Automated emails
When will humanity finally learn the lesson of the dangers potential embarrassment of the automated email?

LOSERS: Craft beer drinkers
While Superfly ditched the ridiculous “GoogaMoola” system from last year, it was replaced in name only. Now instead of moola, you bought tickets. Why did you have to buy tickets if you wanted beer that wasn’t the $7 Captain Lawrence or Blue Moon options? No one knows. Why was a pint a ridiculous $13? And sure you can get a refund, but you have to mail your unused tickets back to the company. Who mails anything anymore?

LOSERS: Prospect Park
The Times dropped an absolute bomb on the proceedings by publicizing how little the Prospect Park Alliance gets in return for giving such a huge section of the park over to Superfly: $75,000. That’s only going to piss off GoogaMooga opponents more, and (rightfully) give them more ammo to work against it coming back next year.

LOSERS: Kool and the Gang
They were this close to teaching a new generation the sexy joys of “Ladies’ Night” and starting their road to a Pitchfork-sponsored career revival. Oh well.

Actually, there was one group of people who were winners: people who bought VIP tickets. Just like last year, paradoxically, the act of shelling out cash for a free festival worked out, because you got the money right back. The lesson, as always, is the rich will always win.

It’s kind of a shame for Superfly because before the rain cancellation, things seemed to be running more smoothly than last year. There weren’t endless lines for food and beer, and the crowd seemed pretty manageable. But even Saturday’s overcast skies put a bit of a damper on the proceedings, with people huddled in blankets as if this was happening in October.

In the end though, GoogaMooga just seems kind of pointless. Like a commenter pointed out, it’s basically a hoity-toity version of Smorgasburg, except that there’s music and there are no cheap options at all. If you can somehow take the money you’d spend on Bonnaroo tickets and instead spend it all on $10 or $13 plates of food of varying sizes, GoogaMooga is probably worth it. But for a “free” festival, it actually puts a huge dent in your wallet, especially if you’re there all day and don’t want to leave with a grumbling stomach. Brooklyn already has a wealth of free summer concerts, an outdoor market for local food vendors with cheap options and we can visit the restaurant vendors at GoogaMooga anytime we want without trampling the park (and get occasional relationship advice from the owners). So ultimately, what does GoogaMooga bring?


  1. I feel awful for all of the “losers” in this situation, but why does no one talk about how great the wine tent is? I reviewed the list of wine and beer before going, and realized “well, I can get most of this beer for cheaper at bars nearby”, so for the second year in a row, I stuck with wine. A friend and I split 3 books of tickets (which took about two minutes to purchase), and we each got six tastes (many of the vendors did a great job at accidentally giving us more than the tasting line anyway). Six tastes for $15 bucks? Not too shabby.

    If you go in with the mentality that it’s a free festival, therefore you don’t have to stay for hours, it’s not half bad. We were there for about 2 hours, we each got food at different vendors (and the servings for both were good for the price: shoutout to Hill Country BBQ Market for a great size portion), and spent $25 bucks total. It wasn’t the cheapest Saturday, but after a few hours, we were done and we left guilt-free since we didn’t pay to get in.

  2. Heather Harrison

    If it wasn’t for the constant drizzle on Saturday, I would’ve had a pretty great time. I loved the food and the $7 and $8 beers were to be expected. I thought it was a pretty good setup for free tickets. I did feel bad for the Sunday ticket holders though.

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