This past weekend's inaugural Great GoogaMooga festival, put on by Bonnaroo and Outside Lands producers Superfly Presents, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park got off to an inauspicious start, with long lines and infrastructural problems marring its first day and swinging the focus away from performances by The Roots, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Holy Ghost, among others.
While Sunday's installment -- featuring the likes of headliners Hall & Oates as well as Charles Bradley and Fitz & the Tantrums -- was by most accounts much smoother, the festival couldn't escape a torrent of backlash, particularly from those who paid $250 a pop for the 'Extra Mooga' experience, which had advertised an all-inclusive alcohol and food component to the otherwise-free event. The anticipated attendance of the event was estmated at 40,000.
Saturday's 'Extra Mooga' attendees were indeed treated to free food and alcohol -- at least until it reportedly ran out by mid-afternoon. Lines for food and beverages in the free fest extended for over an hour in many cases; cell phone service and wi-fi were virtually nonexistent within the festival grounds, making it difficult to meet friends; and Saturday's much-hyped beer and wine tents -- which wouldn't accept cash, but only a "googa moola" pass to which attendees could supposedly charge money -- became nearly inaccessible due to the almost-immediate breakdown of the "googa moola" system broke down almost immediately, leaving fans with no choice but to buy raffle tickets that they could use in the tents -- but which could not be refunded as the festival ended.
GoogaMooga released an apology earlier this week. Today, Superfly Presents and GoogaMooga announced they would be refunding the festival's 'Extra Mooga' tickets in full, including handling fees, while still making the promised donation to the Prospect Park Alliance that part of each ticket was to benefit. The full message to Extra Mooga ticket buyers is below.
More information can be found here.