You should be reading a glowing review of this year’s Great GoogaMooga, but the “rain or shine” event was canceled on Sunday because of … rain.
Taking into account prior complaints, event planners ensured that cell service was better, lines were almost non-existent and ATMs abounded. The trading cards – if you could locate a pack – also lended a nice touch. Although it seemed a colossal waste of paper to require $1 drink tickets for the pavilions when nothing was less than $3 and most cost $10 or more, plus a $2 charge for a glass, I assume this will be addressed should this festival ever happen again.
Fortunately, Friday night went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, and Prospect Park was packed with fans of the Darkness (the outfits alone were worth it), the Flaming Lips (not the same without the human bubble but still fun) and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs (amazing energy).
Anticipating a full day of eating on Sunday, I only sampled a few of the incredible food options at the kickoff event.
The paella from Toro was loaded with braised rabbit and snail and had a touch of mint that made it extraordinary.
But the huge Smoked Meat sandwich from Mile End Delicatessen was really outstanding. Sadly it was scarfed down before I could get a pic thinking I could get one on Sunday. And the Meat Hook’s BBQ Bacon Sandwich was so good that my friend decided to get her own.
Only the Oyster Bolognese from M. Wells did not live up to the hype – the sauce overpowered the tiny oyster.
Needless to say there was a great level of disappointment when just as I was about to get on the subway to head toward my breakfast of Do or Dine’s Foie Gras Doughnut, the notification popped up from my GoogaMooga app that the event was off.
And this was already after last minute changes to the music lineup, with Kool & The Gang replacing Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings just a few days before. Although I had purchased tickets for the Friday kickoff, I had a choice between Saturday or Sunday for my accompanying free tickets and ended up swapping after the lineup change (I wanted to celebrate good times…). Those who paid for non-VIP Sunday tickets to see certain bands, got a raw deal with no refund. Refunds are being issued to VIP ticketholders and, with my prodding, those who purchased drink tickets in advance.
But it was the food vendors who were really harmed by the last minute cancellation an hour and a half into Sunday’s festivities, having spent money and time to feed the hoards of people, not to mention the time spent by food and drink vendors who had to travel and plan for the event. I’m betting participation declines next year – if it happens at all.
The venue choice will continue to be a challenge. The NYC Park Department and the Prospect Park Alliance will inevitably force a closure for inclement weather, and no one can guarantee that won’t happen again (as many noted, it should have been discussed/addressed before settling on this site). I’m hoping that Superfly will consider a move to Central Park where a few raindrops shouldn’t stop the fun.
But in the meantime, you can rent an RV and head to the fields of Tennessee to catch the lineup at Bonnaroo, where you can be certain that a little mud will only add to the fun.