Well, today’s post was going to be dedicated to the awesome event that was supposed to be—the “Great” Googa Mooga Food/Music Festival in Prospect Park this past weekend. For reasons that you may have already heard about, most likely in the form of some overly entitled sounding tweets from angry festival-goers, the organizers of the event really botched some of the basics. A large number of vendors ran out of food relatively early in the day; the electronic payment systems for beer and wine didn’t work; and some bartenders, by the late afternoon, appeared to have consumed more of their product than they sold.
The real value of the GoogaMooga festival, and what makes me believe that it will be back next year, is the concept. Food culture is the new music culture. Celebrity chefs are rock stars and, in this harsh economic climate, people are still willing to dish out some serious ducats for seriously good food. By reimagining the standard summertime music festival as one focused primarily on food but complimented by music, as opposed to the other way around, the organizers may just have hit upon something worthwhile.
Does the overall positive concept of the festival make up for its sloppy execution? No way. Since I arrived later in the afternoon when a number of vendors were out of food, and was unwilling to wait in line for an hour for a bite to eat, I actually didn’t get to taste a single thing while I was there. I was definitely not pleased.
Nevertheless, I think part of the reason that people were so outraged by the logistical issues surrounding the festival is the fact that food is something that a lot of people are passionate about. 40,000 people were looking forward to parting with some (and possibly a lot) more of their hard-earned money if the vendors at the event weren’t so overwhelmed, understaffed, under-stocked, etc. Given the right execution, the
Great Mediocre-but-Hopefully-Improving GoogaMooga, or something very similar, could be back in a big way for many years to come.
Here’s to hoping that that is the case.