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Googa Mooga Food Festival in Prospect Park

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  1. Too bad they couldn't come up with a dumber name for this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pedr0

      At $250/person, how about Dinner for Schmucks? Seriously.

      How good could it possibly be to warrant that price? Is this the future of eating in Brooklyn? I certainly hope not.

      But, maybe this is a good thing.

      It gives the type of people who would shell out this much money for an event like this a place to go and keeps them away from regular folk, their children and small defenseless animals.

    2. Giving away free tickets two months in advance seems like a bad plan. At least half of those tickets will go unused and you'll shut out people who really do want to go.

      2 Replies
      1. re: scooter

        And it will keep the crowds under control...

        1. re: roux42

          Prediction: This event will be quite crowded, with significant wait times for food and drink.

      2. "Tickets" went on "sale" at noon today. Most people who signed on the web site to obtain tickets were put in a queue for an hour or more, only to have the site crash, their order be rejected and, ultimately, get a "sold out" message.

        Apparently, the system issued 40,000 tickets. Can't help but think this is going to be a mess.

        1 Reply
        1. re: famdoc

          yep, I was one of those that waited "in line" only to be kicked out after two hours with a "sorry sold out" message. Very annoying as it will be right across the street from me. The GoogaMooga people are promising more tix will be released in a more coherent manner, but I wouldn't count on it. And I agree--this is likely going to be one giant mess. Perhaps I am better off leaving town for the weekend--certainly I dare not lose my parking spot if I stick around :)

        2. I got a ticket the first time around. I felt like I was registering for college classes again. I think the only tickets left are the 250 tickets, which though sound tempting given the line up, I much rather do a Daneil tasting for that money. Though this has "shitshow" written all over it, i think I wil go early, before noon and leave when all the hipsters wake up and bike/rollerblade over.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jester99

            Got my tickets by a simple twist of fate on day one.
            Then discovered the event conflicted with a family gathering in Boston.
            Listed my tickets on Craigslist. Thought $15 apiece was fair, considering I spent more than an hour on the web site waiting for it to load.
            Then, today, I learn that they're going for $100+ on Stubhub.
            Go figure. Glad I'm headed to Boston for all the reasons elucidated above by fellow chowhounders. Not least of which is the crowds and the waits for small portions of expensive food.

            1. re: famdoc

              I cannot see spending 250 on these tickets. How much can one person eat?? I think that food network and the food blogs are giving these chefs over inflated egos anyway..yea their food is good but they arent saving lives or anything sheesh

              That said..I bet it will be a fun event but not 250 worth of fun ..for me anyway

            2. re: jester99

              I tried to get tickets yesterday when they were supposed to be available at noon. I checked right at 12:00 and they weren't available yet, but then a minute or two later the site said they were, but by the time I clicked through all tickets were gone. What a joke, if people are scalping these then I guess the professionals scooped them all up to resell. Or maybe there is only a very limited number of free tickets since they're trying to sell the high end tickets. In any event it does seem destined to be an epic failure, can't imagine who would pay $250 to these clowns.

              1. re: sadarami

                I'm kinda looking forward to it. Between myself and friends, I was able to get free tickets for both days and being that its virtually across the street, I'll go without high expectations. I do expect chaos, but I am also eager to try some of the foods. If the lines are too crazy, I'll just cross the street and go home :) That said, I think the $250 tickets are nuts (although, my understanding is they do include food and drinks.)

            3. This was the shitshow to end all shitshows and I would not recommend going.

              sooo there aren't really lines to get IN, which was a good sign. but when you get inside, there are 50-minute lines for most food places. There is also a 20-50 minute line to get a bracelet for 21+ drinks. Then there is a 30-60 minute line for drinks. There does not seem to be any simple drink kiosks around--none that we saw, anyway--so either you have to wait in the beer line for an hour to get a bottle of water, or (if you're lucky enough to pick a food stand that carries $5 basil lemonades or something) get something from a food stand. Which is almost an hour wait.

              Some food stand lines were shorter. The place with the shortest line--maybe 15 minutes--was serving a grilled onion for $6. That's it. One place serving grilled corn nachos looked promising and had a line that was around a half hour wait, but they ran out of nachos (thankfully we had only waited in the line 2 minutes when they announced it).

              Travelling back and forth between the two "wings" of food booths required picking your way across a field of early-arrivers on blankets watching the stage show in the sun. I can't imagine it was relaxing for them at all--there was an enormously thick crowd travelling that field at any given moment, surrounding the blankets and stepping on fingers and such.

              Eventually we said "fuck it"--half the places there we'd eaten at in the past, and nobody wanted to wait an hour for food and another hour for drinks. We left the park and went to Zito's.

              On the way out we were given packs of free Orbit gum, and found a $20 bill on the ground, and an ATM accidentally dispensed a $50 instead of a $20 bill. So it was a fine day nonetheless. And Zito's is delicious.

              13 Replies
              1. re: didactic katydid

                I told a twitter friend who was fed up with the lines to leave the park and head to Fifth Ave., but Zito's is a much better idea. You really found the silver lining in an otherwise black cloud.

                1. re: didactic katydid

                  I heard they had some issues but its the first year they are doing this so there are bound to be glitches.

                  As for the length of the lines why would you expect any different? I have heard the same thing about that BBQ fest in MSP every year..the lines the lines the lines...of course there are lines ..thats why I dont go to these things though I admit they always sound fun before people like you come on and post about the nightmare lines ;)

                  more importantly...how was the food??? ;)

                  1. re: SweetDreamsNYC

                    Great beer and food at Double Windsor on PPW and 16th (pretty much across from park) that's my back up

                    1. re: SweetDreamsNYC

                      Now I get it. It was all Katydid's fault.

                      Eater has posted a bunch of Tweets from journalists and food industry types that pretty much say the same thing as her.


                      Yelpers weren't kind either.


                        1. re: jimmyjo1

                          I know I'm in the minority but my friends and I had a great time both days. Key was to get there early. We arrived at opening both days and enjoyed at least 2-3 relatively uncrowded hours. Actually today never got too crowded, at least when we left at around 4 pm lines were still reasonable. Yes, the wine/beer/drinks situation was a fiasco on Saturday (their card system didn't work, lines were insane to get tickets) and so we just gave up on the wine and beer tents, knowing we'd be back on Sunday we figured we'd leave it for then. Its about the food anyway. Today, that issue was straightened out (cash was accepted, duh) and we never waited more than15 minutes in any line, and did quite a bit of wine and beer tasting. Heard some fun music too. Between the two days had at least 10-15 different things and assorted wine and beer. It was a free event, so I don't know what everyone is complaining about. (I DO think the ExtraMooga folks have a right to complain, from what I heard they did NOT get anywhere near their $250 worth, which I thought was robbery to begin with.)

                          Anyway, we had a great weekend at GoogaMooga, beautiful weather, some good food, music and friends. Sorry that so many others found it disappointing.

                      1. re: SweetDreamsNYC

                        No idea how the food was because I didn't get any!

                        I've gone to many of these gigantic events, and some of them are managed quite well. I expected a wait (I've been to the Red Hook vendors both before and after they went food-truck; I was at Smorgasburg every weekend last year; etc.). GoogaMooga put those all to shame.

                        My friends who went right away (at 11am) said they found the waits to be quite manageable. We went in at 3pm. By that point, it was the aforementioned shitshow.

                        (btw Bob Martinez, I'm male)

                        1. re: didactic katydid

                          It was the "katy" part that fooled me. Apologies.

                          1. re: didactic katydid

                            Have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Got there before noon and had no problem getting whatever food or beer we wanted up until we left around 4. Can't speak for those who came later though.

                            1. re: didactic katydid

                              My husband and I gave up, too. I guess we're spoiled because we had just gone to Jazz Fest in NOLA a couple of weeks ago and the food vendors there are better at managing the huge crowds. So we took our business to the Monro and Sweet Wolf and a couple other places in the Slope instead.

                            2. re: SweetDreamsNYC

                              There are glitches and then there are total, careless, disasters. The people behind it are the same ones who organize Bonaroo. They should have the festival thing down by now. New York Magazine posted an article describing the chaos, clearly highlightint it as a "shitshow"- and New York Magazine was a sponsor, so that's pretty bad.

                              They sold 40,000 tickets and apparently didn't sign up nearly enough restaurants. That isn't a glitch, it is greed. Not only does it suck for the people who attended, but I feel bad for the restaurateurs. I recently read an article on Eater, it was actually interviews with four famous chefs about food festivals and it seems that the chefs are often lied to and and for lack of a better phrase, taken advantage of, by many food festival organizers. It sounds like the Great GoogaMooga - particularly the $250 special section - was probably a good example of that.

                              Only 75 food vendors for 40,000 people? Hmmmm...that doesn't sound like a great idea. Geez...I went to the Taste of Tribeca festival on Saturday, which was small enough that it only took up less than two city blocks and they had 75 eateries there. And it was great!

                              Although I would have LOVED to see The Roots. :)

                              1. re: Justpaula

                                honestly - the number of vendors relative to the attendance was not one of the major flaws. i worked an event half again bigger, with fewer than 50% more vendors. Id lay some of the blame on the vendors themselves for not being prepared to deal with the volume - it takes a streamlined operation to run smoothly with those kind of numbers, and i think a lot of folks got hit harder than they expected.

                                My biggest quibbles with the organizers are the size of the meadow relative to the crowds - lines are inevitable, but the way they had things set up it was frequently difficult to tell what the lines were even for because there was insufficient space for lines as long as they had.

                                second, some of the policies were just amateur - wristbands needed to be available at the door, cash should have been accepted everywhere. and the beer booths (not the big tasting tents) were totally too small - they were running the beer operation out of jockey boxes with golf carts ferrying kegs around to the booths. full on refridgerated trucks with sufficiently trained and numbered staff would have been a much better call.

                                apparently sunday went way smoother - it just seemed like there was a lot of rookie bs on saturday during prime hours.

                            3. re: didactic katydid

                              this pretty much summed up the reaction of daughter and her boyfriend. Seems like it was a real mess. In addition, the only food available was full plates rather than sample size, which really limited the appeal of the event. Problems with the beer too, payment methods, etc. you name it, amateur night. She left, he got sunburn waiting around in the sun.

                            4. I was there earlyish on Sat as well and didn't think the lines were terrible then.

                              Did anyone stay later on Sat, like after 6? I'd be curious to know if things thinned back out towards the evening. If I were to do it again I'd go early, leave, and then if the evenings weren't bad come back for a round two later on.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Renguin

                                we stayed to hear the roots. i couldnt say for sure but it seemed like there were no lines during the concert, but it also looked like some of the vendors were already packing it in, so no lines may not be an indication of easy-to-get food.

                                it didnt seem to be just the organizers who were caught flat footed. joseph leonard was sold out of food by 330 (they said they planned to reopen by 5). a fair number of other booths (the chocolate banana people) were also sold out well before the end of the day.

                                1. re: tex.s.toast

                                  That's too bad, that's one of hte few places I went to and it was really good!

                              2. Ive heard positive reports from folks who were there either early saturday or on sunday, but my experience arriving at 230 saturday was pretty shitshowtastic. epic lines and disorganization for everything - by the time we had gotten some beers we were feeling might defeated. ended up only getting the bacon flight at hammageddon, which i thought was pretty good (i was surprised that i liked the schaller and weber so much more than benton's, given its lauded foodie pedagree)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: tex.s.toast

                                  Hey, all of you...was the fact that there were too many people and too little food a surprise? Scroll up to the initial posts on this thread, from the day tickets first became available?

                                  1. re: famdoc

                                    I am pretty sure it was not a surprise to most people here. But it sounds like for many people who were there, it was even worse than most had expected.

                                2. And let the Hunger Games begin!

                                  When I first heard of this event, I kept re-imagining the scene from the 1999 Woodstock. Never crossed my mind to even venture anywhere NEAR Prospect Park on the dates of the event but to go far far away from it as possible.

                                  Food fest+Prospect Park+Free Music+(and throw in) FREE EVENT= Night of the living dead zombie scene. Too many hungry people, not enough food. Looked good on paper though.

                                  Brooklyn in itself is a mecca of international food delights, so why subject yourself to this horrible scene gone wrong?

                                  Now, If you paid $250 for this...I think you deserved a refund.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: DarthEater

                                    I agree..if anyone paid $250 they deserve a refund but those who went for free I think should stop complaining.

                                    What I dont like is I saw on twitter googa mooga retweet someone who said ignore the haters it was a great time or something along those lines. I think they need to acknowledge they screwed up Saturday not be retweeting stuff like that

                                    1. re: SweetDreamsNYC

                                      Agree to some extent. I had not eve realized when I first commented on this thread, that the general tickets were free (if you could get 'em). However, people are entitled to complain if they schlepped somewhere, set aside a day for an event they thought they could enjoy, and ended up at a shitshow because the organizers did a crappy job. I would have just left, but I would still complain. :) And having to scramble and swarm and still possibly not end up with some of the food served is completely unacceptable if you paid $250. I don't know how many $250 tickets were sold, but some sort of amends should be made if they want to come back and do it again next year.

                                      Yeah, retweeting about "haters" is super-douchey (excuse my language, I hate that word but it really fits here) when you ran an event that was deserving of some of the hate. I think some humility is in order here!

                                      Does anyone know how they made money on this? It can't possibly be just the $250 tickets they sold, can it? Also, I am curious to hear about if from the perspective of some of the restaurateurs....has anyone seen anything from any of them???

                                      1. re: Justpaula

                                        i have personal experience with similar festivals - the organizers take of gross reciepts can be as high as 33-35% (its another story altogether about how they negotiate into what counts as gross reciepts)

                                        you didnt think M Wells actually got to keep all 15 bucks from that horse and foie sandwich, did you?

                                        oh, and beer. they make money by being the provider of the alcohol, which is insanely profitable.

                                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                                          That's what I figured, which is why I commented somewhere on this thread that I feel bad for the restaurants. I mean, I am not shedding tears over them, because they wouldn't do it if it didn't benefit them in some way, but I also mentioned this piece I read on Eater last week. It is also why I feel like the promoters are greedy effers who could care less that they gave out 40000 tickets without being able to properly manage the needs of 40,000 people.


                                  2. We went on Sunday and actually had quite a good time. Not sure if I would be saying the same had we gone on Saturday.

                                    Photos of what we ate here: http://smithratliff.com/2012/05/22/su...

                                    Blog text below:

                                    "Undeterred by stories of long lines and dry beer taps, we packed up a bag full of water and sunscreen and headed to Prospect Park for Sunday festivities at the Great GoogaMooga, a two-day food and music festival featuring some of New York’s best restaurants and chefs.

                                    After entering and sizing up the grounds, we were a little taken aback by the number of vendors and the sheer size of the crowd. However, unlike Saturday, Sunday’s lines seemed much more manageable.

                                    We checked out the menus on the GoogaMooga iPhone app, and then we divided and began to conquer.

                                    Ryan stood in line for the horse bologna and foie gras grilled cheese sandwich at M. Wells, while I grabbed us a grapefruit mint soda from Brooklyn Soda Works. The sandwich was one of the festival’s pricier items at $15, but it was well worth every dime spent.

                                    Next, we headed toward perennial favorite Joseph Leonard. Chef Jim McDuffee and his sous chef were whipping up delicious fried chicken banh mi sandwiches and somehow the line wasn’t outrageously long.

                                    In need of a sweet treat afterward, we checked another item off of our list: the foie gras doughnut from Bed-Stuy-based Do or Dine. The yeasty, pillowy doughnut was topped with powdered sugar but filled with strawberry jam and unctuous, creamy foie. Paired with a bag of bourbon-bacon caramel corn from Liddabit Sweets, our sweet tooth was sated.

                                    After this, we were mostly full of food and took a break from eating to check out some of the chefs and speakers in the ExtraMooga area.

                                    We watched Chef Masaharu Morimoto break down a whole fish, meat master Pat Lafrieda carve a brisket and the guys from the Meat Hook butcher a side of beef.

                                    Then, we wandered down to the park’s beautiful boathouse where we met Chef Marcus Samuelsson and had a few drinks at his Harlem Renaissance party.

                                    Meanwhile, adjacent to the boathouse, Master Sommelier Laura Maniec hosted a wine speed tasting event, where drinkers had just a few minutes to sample a number of wines from different regions.

                                    We tasted our way through several regions, but then had to scurry back to listen to Anthony Bourdain, who charmed the packed crowd with his well-known wit and dry sense of humor. Audience members freely asked him questions, but he also had carnival-style wheel with inspiration for those who were starstruck.

                                    Right after Bourdain spoke, we hurried back to the main stage to hear the evening’s headlining band Hall & Oates.

                                    My mom remembers seeing them in 1982, but even 30 years later, they still put on a great show. The weather was beautiful and the crowd relaxed as they played almost all of their hits. (Their set was a personal highlight for Ryan.


                                    The festival slowed down after their set, but we wandered back to see some friends at the Spotted Pig’s stand, where Chef April Bloomfield herself was flipping the remaining burgers on the griddle.

                                    Despite the festival’s shortcomings the previous day, we had a great time and managed to pack a lot of food and fun into just a few hours. We’re sure that next year’s GoogaMooga will surpass and surprise our experience this year!"

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: loratliff

                                      I ask this out of genuine curiousity and not out of any judgementalness about your personal finacnes and choices of recreation:

                                      did you really pay 250 dollars each for the unlimited food, booze and schmooze premium package and then go wait in line to pay 15 bucks for a sandwich with the 'regular folks'?

                                      1. re: tex.s.toast

                                        No, we had media passes for the ExtraMooga. We mostly drank over there, but honestly there wasn't much food to be had in that area. I can certainly understand people who are sour about that. However, for those who got free tickets and went on Sunday, I can't see much to complain about.

                                    2. This "festival" was a pure disaster. I stayed 3.5 hours and still didn't manage to get a single bite of food or a single drop of drink (not even water)... at a food and drink festival. This person's rant on Craigslist actually sums up my Saturday experience perfectly:


                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: InsolentGourmet

                                        You could've brought your own water in, you know.

                                        1. re: loratliff

                                          I have seen this said several times to people in various online venues and i think it is a bogus response. I think it is fair to expect water to be easily available at an outdoor festival - particularly one focused on food. Plus, it was hot and sunny. I went to a different outdoor food festival in the city that day and arrived with a bottle of water on me, as I almost always do, but ended up buying two more and drinking half of my husband's that day. He bought three bottles of artisanal soda. I just don't drink soda. I am not sure if people who say, "you could have brought your own water" expect that people should have brought with them and carried around a cooler full of it to cover them during the course of an eight hour food and music festival

                                          Also, I don't know if this is true, but one complaint I read was that there weren't even kiosks selling only water (or other soft drinks), so one had to stand on an hour long beer line to get water. That would piss me off.

                                          1. re: Justpaula

                                            I agree..it should not be hard to get water at any event..why would anyone think they wouldnt have access to water?? this was not advertised as a bring your own type picnic

                                            1. re: Justpaula

                                              It just seems like yet another shift of personal responsibility for people to scream and whine "I was thirsty for hours!!!" when they knew full well (and were even reminded by the event organizers, via e-mail) to bring water. It would be one thing if the festival said no outside drinks allowed, but they didn't.

                                              I popped into the bodega and got a 34 oz. bottle that kept me well-satisfied for the day. Is it *that* hard?

                                              1. re: loratliff

                                                No, it's not hard at all. But a good number of people, understandably, cracked the seal on their bottle and took a swig or two on the way into the park. And if you had an open container they wouldn't allow you to bring it in -- I suppose because you might have filled the bottle with vodka?

                                                1. re: Peter

                                                  thats actually not true. their website (and tickets) explicitly encouraged the use of re-usable (and therefore unsealed) websites. unlike, say, the mets, who do check for the seals with water bottles entering CitiField, there was no such scrutiny by GM security staff.

                                                  they did a lot of things wrong, but their water policy is, i think, one of the areas they actually got right.

                                                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                    All good points, but I will make it clear how I feel on the subject of water availability, again based on my own experience from this weekend. I probably could have gotten away with buying one less bottle of water, at the event, than I did. But, with a quarter of one bottle left in my hand, I asked my husband to go buy me another then turned to my friend next to me and said,"There is nothing less refreshing than drinking hot water. I would rather not drink it all" True story! I was thirsty and I did want more water and I wanted it cold. I could have put ten bottles in my stroller, but after several hours in the hot sun, I still would have bought a fresh, cold one.

                                                    Now, I did see on the website that they did clearly state that re-usable bottles of water were welcome. I am not sure of the status of water fountains in Prospect Park - if they have them and if they were turned on yet - but if they did and they were, I would have happily refilled my water bottle over and over with the yummy NYC stuff! If it is good enough for me at home, it is even better when spending a hot day outside. :)

                                                    1. re: Justpaula

                                                      I dunno - i agree that providing ample, free water (at a variety of temperatures) would be ideal. but i think its a long way from "they were irresponsible as event organizers to not have better access to water and policies which allowed water to be brought in" to "i couldnt get water at my desired temperature".

                                                      Im sure they could have gotten the NYC Water people: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drin... to come in and set up fountains, but they were trying to turn a profit, and drinks were very probably their primary vehicle for doing so. it would have been dishonest and shitty of them to not allow drinks(water) to be brought in while charging crazy markups for bottled water. but they didnt do that. i dont think its unreasonable to expect people who want cold water to pay for it.

                                                      1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                        I am all for people paying for water. By choice, I spent $12 for water over less than three hours at a different event on Saturday and I have no complaints about the cost - I am just glad I was able to buy it without killing an hour doing so. Because, sure water at any temp will hydrate me enough to make sure I stay alive, but I am not going to an event with intention of making sure I can be kept alive - I want to ENJOY it. Otherwise, I am just saying that if you want people to have the most enjoyable time at your event vs. just putting on an event that will turn you a great profit while making sure your attendees know that their satisfaction is of as little interest as possible to you, then don't have enough cool water on hand to sell to them. Really, it would have benefited the organizers as they would have sold more water at a good mark-up and the they wouldn't have to deal with yet one more thing giving the even a bad rep. In addition to all of the other issues, they are also people who put on an event where attendees couldn't even buy a friggin' bottle of water with any ease at all.

                                                        My comment about the water fountains was actually a way to say to complainers, "Hey, you didn't *have* to stand on line for an hour, you could have just drank free NYC water". But, apparently the organizers didn't make an effort get that to happen either.

                                                        1. re: Justpaula

                                                          Not to mention....if you are going to suggest your attendees come equipped with reusable water bottles, you are sort of implying - and it would be a nice thing - if you provided them access to refill their reusable bottles. And if you aren't going to do that...then don't mention reusable bottles. Just make it clear and make it happen that there will be water available for them to buy without having to stand on an hour long line. The organizers did a bad job on the water drinking front....that's all.

                                                    2. re: tex.s.toast

                                                      They may have encouraged reusable water bottles but 1) they didn't give any means to actually REFILL such bottles and 2) while they may have encouraged Nalgenes and such, there were numerous reports if open Poland Spring and Dasani type bottles being thrown out upon entry per security's direction. :-/

                                          2. I found it to be a good time, but you definitely had to manage the situation to get the most out of it. We only went on Saturday (couldn't make it Sunday), but we went early knowing the lines were going to be insane. Got there at 11:30 and there were no lines to get in, and very manageable lines to get food and beer. The only insane line was for the "googa moula" so we skipped the beer and wine tasting which seemed overpriced anyway, and had the "regular beer" from the stands, which still had very decent selection.

                                            Like I said lines for food were very reasonable (We only ate at places with <5 minute lines which only ruled out a couple places), and we sampled some things we were interested in, all of which was quite good. Prices were definitely high, and if you planned on eating a days worth of food I could see them being prohibitively so, but again it's down to expectations. If you've been to smorgasburg you know the deal, so we ate breakfast first and with a few friends were still able to sample a number of different things for a reasonable cost without stuffing ourselves.

                                            We left at about 2, went home, relaxed and drank some more reasonably priced beer, and then returned for the Roots concert, which was excellent, and then went out for a more affordable dinner. We had a really nice day: ate some good food, spent some time in the park, etc. but I can definitely see spending a whole day there being hellish.

                                            1. Well, there you have it. The organizer are refunding the full cost to those who paid for the $20 tickets.


                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Justpaula

                                                From the organizer:

                                                "We will be working closely with the City and the Prospect Park Alliance about plans for GoogaMooga next year, as we hope to make this an annual event. We are incredibly passionate about the brand, the community being built around it, and producing a great festival that brings together so much creativity in one place." There you have it--a corporate mindset that can unironically collapse "brand" and "community." Outtahere.

                                                  1. re: bob96

                                                    When I think about Googa Mooga (and especially about this “Extra Mooga” VIP thing), I’m reminded of the first time I heard about the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. In that area, there’s a mega-resort where guests arrive at the parking lot and then board either a monorail or a gondola to take them to the check-in location. Once checked in, guests can then opt to swim with and, if so desired, kiss the dolphins the resort has imprisoned in a lagoon on site. For the privilege of all this, of course, guests pay a pretty penny.

                                                    When we visited the Big Island a number of years ago, we decided to stop in here en route to somewhere else and, well, gawk at the kind of people who would go to a paradise like the Big Island yet choose not to experience the real deal. We were not disappointed.

                                                    Upon entering the courtyard area, we stumbled upon a few social climber types who were all fawning over another guest (the celebrity they’d just met and were presently talking to). It was none other Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan himself. “Oh hiiiiiiii Paul!!!! And what are YOU doing today?!!!”

                                                    My point with this story is that as far as I’m concerned Googa Mooga, dolphin kissing?—THAT’S your brand and Paul Hogan fawners?—THAT’S your community.

                                                    And $267/person for “Extra Mooga?” Really? If somebody has that much cash lying around to blow on a food festival, they need to have their taxes raised.

                                                    So I say beware Brooklyn! In your neighborhood, choose the real deal. Because if you support stuff like Googa Mooga, overpriced, culinary drivel will declare open season on your borough and chase out every last bit of down-to-earth gastronomic goodness that you have.

                                                    And boy, am I glad I live in Queens where there’s enough vinyl siding and shiny stainless steel fencing to repel the type of person who would choose to be a party to such nonsense. It’s times like this that make me appreciate both the power and beauty of “tacky”!


                                                    Glendale is hungry…

                                                    1. re: Glendale is hungry

                                                      Glendale: Pulitzer Prize is yours next year. Think about what one could do with $267 in NYC...without ruining one of our city's most beautiful parks, fighting with a zillion hipsters and leaving hungry. Yes, choose the real deal. Well written.

                                                      1. re: famdoc

                                                        Already considered: Buy a dozen White Castle "Crave Cases"...and a gallon jug of Nestle water. You may even have a few cents to spare.

                                                    2. re: bob96

                                                      Good Luck with that, GoogaMooga people! I didn't go this year and won't go next year, but, even with the refunds, I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig in the next set of trials. They can toss out as many lines of marketing BS as they like, but anyone who doesn't wait and see them offer a great event for the high-end ticket holders for a good, solid few years before buying one themselves, is a fool...I'd say that makes it a Catch-22 for the organizers, but I am quite confident there are a ton of fools out there.

                                                  2. I didn't go. But the photos of the Hamaggedon Pig roaster thing scares me. It's like the Brazen Bull!