We’ve been known to poke fun at GoogaMooga over here, sure. But given the strenuous efforts on the part of the festival’s parent company, Superfly, to make amends for all the things that went wrong at last year’s inaugural event—refunding the cost of tickets to disappointed VIPs, adding more booths and an overall tighter ordering system to streamline things at this year’s event—we were all really rooting for things to go right this time around.
And it seems, based on the overall positive reviews from Friday and Saturday Mooga attendees, that they were! Lines weren’t too outrageous, the vibes were good, etc. But after the purportedly “rain or shine” event was forced to shut down on Sunday (reportedly over concerns from the Parks Department that Nethermead would incur too much damage if crowds continued tromping around in the wet grass), forcing vendors to either toss or donate massive amounts of food and surrender thousands upon thousands of dollars in profits, the festival has turned into something of a disappointment for the second year running.
So is this the end for Brooklyn’s most immediately notorious food festival? It’s unclear. An offshoot is most likely still happening in Chicago in late August, but event co-founder Jonathan Mayers has also said of the original Brooklyn iteration, “I think we all worked so hard so that this could be an annual event, but right now we’ll take things as they come and we’re focused on finalizing this year and that’s it.”
And there are plenty of arguments against GoogaMooga’s continued existence, like the paltry $75,000 Prospect Park receives in exchange for an event that’s pretty rough on the terrain, or the significant food waste that piles up even when things don’t come to an abrupt, early end. There are also still ways this could all go well—for starters, a move to a better-suited location could potentially work wonders. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how yesterday’s cancellation ultimately affects GoogaMooga’s relationship with the vendors, and what kind of compromise they figure out to make up for all the lost profits. After all, without anyone willing to bring food next year, this whole thing would be kind of moot.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.