Thousands ventured to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park this past weekend for the Great Googa Mooga, the first annual foodie themed festival featuring the most sought after food joints found throughout New York City and Brooklyn. Organized by the same team that puts on Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, the event included popular food vendors like The Burger Joint, Calexico, The Spotted Pig, Crif Dogs, and Momofuku Milk Bar, amongst many others.
(Text and photos by Veronica Hoglund)
Googa Mooga, being in its inaugural year, certainly experienced its far share of growing pains. Saturday, the first day of the festival, those in the GA area encountered severe overcrowding, shortage of wine and beer bracelets, and unreasonably long lines (some up to 150+ people). Less gourmet food options may have ensured quicker waiting time for sun-burnt and starved attendees, but that’s something to remember for next year. However, Saturday was not a complete disaster with performances by Holy Ghost!, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Roots.
By Sunday, the Great Googa, it would seem, had recognized some of the problems experienced the previous day, and was quick to solve any issues they could – this meant bigger tents for smaller vendors, and beer and wine tents accepting cash. The music-lineup the second day, despite food being the focal point of the fest, delighted the all-ages crowd with performances by Escort, Fitz & the Tantrums, Lez Zeppelin, and a closing set by Hall and Oates – though I will say I was one of the few that was genuinely excited to see the duo live (What?!).
The festival wasn’t all lines and aggravated New Yorkers—though mostly, with featured cooking workshops, information sessions, and as mentioned, a variety of musical performances throughout the day. Not to mention the beautiful signs decorating the park, produced by Steve Powers’ and his company ICY Signs.
In conclusion, perhaps giving the Great Googa Mooga more credit than it deserves, for a first time run the festival went as smoothly as it could have. It can at the very least be deemed a learning experience in preparation for next year.
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