GoogaMooga: A Lesson in Less is More

After getting a pretty mean sunburn while waiting more than an hour for a beer, it was difficult to say many good things about the first-ever Great GoogaMooga, held in Booklyn last year. This summer, organizers of the annual food and music festival promised things would be different, and on Saturday afternoon, I was pleased to discover they kept to their word.

In order to keep lines moving at this year’s GoogaMooga — held May 17-19 — organizers avoided choice overload by asking that vendors offer only one food option per booth. There were also ten more vendors added to the roster, bringing the total to 85 food stands. And after the 2012 GoogaMooga received complaints for being too carnivorous, planners beefed up their vegetarian selection. Shorter lines meant we could actually try more than one type of food (a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich with caramelized onions and kale from Little Muenster, and fall-off-the-bone brisket from the Hill Country Barbeque Market).

They did away with “GoogaMoola” — drink tickets needed to purchase alcohol — and instead implemented wrist bands, which were handed out by staff members walking around the festival grounds. We waited in line only ten minutes for the wine-tasting tent, as opposed to 45 minutes last summer. Which was nice, because the tent provided shelter from the rain that day.

Despite a constant drizzle and a persistent layer of gray clouds above, we actually had a really great time at GoogaMooga this year. The clouds prevented sunburns, the wine-tasting tent prevented us from getting soaked, and the lack of lines allowed us to over-eat to our hearts’ content.

Unfortunately for organizers, the second full day of the festival was canceled on Sunday due to thunderstorms (disappointing vendors, and festival-goers who’d purchased a ticket to a “rain or shine” event). I guess GoogaMooga isn’t totally off the hook just yet. The curse, perhaps?


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