Great GoogaMooga Festival: Prospect Park 20 May 2012

Despite the full weekend that rtb, violaleeblue, and I had we also knew we had to check out the first Great GoogaMooga Festival at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Sunday was the only day we could make it, which worked out well since that was the night that Hall and Oates would be performing.

The focus of the event seemed to be the food. There were a ton of booths set up – all from well-known NYC restaurants. There was a section devoted to pizza, another to burgers, and one for coffee. There was even an area devoted to all things pig.






There were two music stages – one in Hamageddon that seemed to feature hard rock/heavy metal (Lez Zeppelin played that stage but I missed them) and a larger stage that had the name acts. There were also demo stages all over with cooking competitions, talks about food, how to market and open and restaurant, and cooking demonstrations. There was also a focus on locavore, organic, and food co-ops.

There were also two pavilions – one for beer tasting and one for wine tasting. People were walking around with temporary tattoos of the names of wines. That kind of made me a little frightened to go into the wine pavilion – did I get a choice of how I was going to be tattooed for the day?

Despite the big brunch I’d had earlier in the day I couldn’t resist trying the food right away. First I went to Red Rooster and had berbere chicken with bbq sauce, mac and greens, and corn bread. I’m not a fan of collard greens but they were very good with macaroni. The corn bread had fennel seeds because there was a slight licorice taste. The chicken was cooked perfectly. rtb and I shared a grilled cheese, bologna, and foie gras sandwich from M Wells. It was so rich that half a sandwich was almost too much. And the bologna was horse bologna – it tasted just like regular bologna. I also had a pulled duroc pork sandwich with a side of corn on the cob with chili mayo and coconut flakes from the Nam Pang Sandwich Shop. There was a slight heat on the corn and the sandwich was more bun and vegetables than pork but still very good. The last two places were part of Tony’s Corner, where Anthony Bourdain chose the booths. I finished with a pork fennel sausage served in a bun with hot mustard and cole slaw on top from Char No. 4. The mustard was very hot so the cole slaw provided the perfect coolness. And you can’t go wrong with a pork sausage.

I’d read that on Saturday a lot of the booths ran out of food. There were super long lines for the popular places and I know that when violaleeblue went to Red Rooster later in the afternoon all she got was chicken because they’d run out of mac and greens and cornbread.

When we got there we spent a lot of time sitting. We were all exhausted. We did walk around a bit and saw a second line pass by and walk towards the main stage. We sat and napped in the grass in front of the main stage and waited for Fitz and the Tantrums and then Hall and Oates. The weather was perfect – it was warm but not humid and there was an occasional breeze.

I didn’t know much about Fitz and the Tantrums so I had no idea what to expect. They are a very peppy bunch and were dancing all over the stage. It’s a soulful pop sound and they would have fit in well during the heyday of blue-eyed soul. “MoneyGrabber” was their last song and the most well-known and well-received song.

Hall and Oates’ set was supposed to go from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. They started after six, were off the stage by seven, came back for the encore, and then off again by 7:15. It seemed to go by very quickly but they played a lot of their hits and we were swaying and enjoying it and dancing for the encore. The sound wasn’t the best – it seems that Daryl Hall likes his mic and monitors very hot so the sound person is constantly dealing with feedback. There was section where I thought were hearing only the monitors and not the mains. Most of the crowd either had not been born or were barely born when Hall and Oates had their major hits in the late 70s and early to mid 80s so I was happy to see how popular they remain today.

It’s difficult at an outdoor venue to really listen to a band especially when everyone around you has been socializing and drinking all day. Our favorite game is picking out the fashion item everyone must have this season. In case you’re wondering you (if you’re female) need to go out and buy yourself a pair of crocheted or lace shorts. The shorter the better. If you don’t have those then you wear the shortest shorts possible. Sundresses are also very popular. Small-brimmed fedoras have still not gone out of fashion but they are not as ubiquitous.

By Carene Lydia Lopez