Two-day food-and-music festival the Great GoogaMooga debuted this weekend, and anyone with a handle on hashtags can tell you the event racked up some serious criticism. Interminable lines, food shortages, negligent crowd management and a clueless staff added up on Saturday to what Anthony Bourdain aptly termed a "goat rodeo." And that’s to say nothing of the $250 Extra Mooga event: Marketed as an all-inclusive experience, the defective “fest-within-a-fest” inspired at least one fistfight among the hungry and dissatisfied attendees. (Read Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton’s cost assessment of Extra Mooga to see what $250 would get you at restaurants like Del Posto and Eleven Madison Park.)RECOMMENDED: All coverage of the Great GoogaMooga festival
Following our experience at the park on Saturday, we stayed away on Sunday. But according to most accounts, organizers were nimble in addressing the negative feedback, changing the transaction policy at vendor stands and shoring up their food supplies. (We’d also wager that thousands stayed home following Saturday’s social-media eruption, leading to a more manageable crowd.)
For their part, organizers Superfly have already issued an official mea culpa: “We…want to personally apologize for any frustrations you may have experienced. Between the usual kinks that come with the first year there are, as you well know, a lot of areas that can be improved upon.”
Those $250 poorer might see this as something of a limp gesture (a partial refund might be more persuasive), but it’s a fair and welcome admission nonetheless. And in any case—for those with scads of patience and SPF anyway—there was some fun to be had at the inaugural Great GoogaMooga. Click through our slide show for highlights, and keep those fingers crossed for a better sophomore effort from the Superfly team in 2013.