I was more excited than a 13 year-old discovering porn when I heard about the Great GoogaMooga Experience. New York’s finest in craft beer! Fancy food! And free music! In a lush park in Brooklyn!
Ok maybe not more excited, but as excited. Ahem.
Anyway, it turned out to be the cluster fuck from ‘Nam. The weather could not have been more perfect, and the setting was fantastic, but oh GoogaMooga, how did you fail me? Let me count the ways.
1) Everyone going was required to have a ticket, so the organizers must have known almost exactly how many people were coming – at the very least how many tickets were issued. How then to explain hour long waits for just about everything within an hour or two of the place opening at 11am?
2) The people organizing the event supposedly also organize Bonnaroo in Tennessee. How the fuck then, did they not figure on getting some mobile-phone repeaters? When 40,000 people entered the venue area all cell reception dried up quicker than a Catholic priest’s chastity in an all-boys’ orphanage.
3) It wasn’t a “free” event. It was a damn expensive event. I paid $12 for two pork belly tacos from celebrity chef Tom Collichio. I paid $14 to drink a Brooklyn Blast double IPA out of a plastic cup I had to pay a further $2 for. This is from temporary stands in a field, not bricks and mortar venues that have to pay rent.
4) There were plenty of food options, as long as you liked meat, meat, or meat. If you were a vegetarian there was lots of grass in the field.
5) To be fair, the food was good – at least, the two things I could be bothered waiting in line to try were good. I would’ve spent more money and eaten more food and drank more beer if I could’ve been bothered to wait in another hour+ long line for food and drink I could’ve had any other day of the week in New York, without having to wait in line. But I couldn’t be bothered.
6) Oh, then there were the hour+ long lines that ended with “sorry, we’ve run out”. Rage face.
Ok, ok. I realize it was their first time putting it on, and I did have a reasonable time in the sun despite there being far too many people. The music was great, from Latin to New Orleans Jazz to Hip Hop to electropop, and the sound kicked ass. There wasn’t an overwhelming ratio of hipsters and Jersey Shore suburbanites to people you don’t actually want to fart in the immediate vicinity of.
But if they’d just let less people in everyone could have spent a lot more time relaxing – and spending more money. Stupid Googa! It would’ve been waaay better if they’d charged $10 or $20 bucks to get in and had slightly less people having a way better time, for the same amount of profit…
New York Magazine has more here, and a slideshow here.
Update: It was bad enough that GoogaMooga is now offering full ticket refunds.
My pictures – including of Coolio pimping his cookbook – below: