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Goodbye, Googa Mooga: Prospect Park gives Brooklyn festival the boot

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Goodbye Googa Mooga.  The free food and music festival that’s called prospect park home for the last two years must find a new place to party after the parks department says the festival and the park simply weren’t the right fit.
For a few days over the last few years normally quiet and serene Prospect Park turned into the loud, food and music festival called the Great Googa Mooga.

Even though entry was free most people didn’t think the festival was so great.

“I heard nothing but complaints about it basically,” said Lea Bender of Windsor Terrace.

Lea Bender didn’t go to the festival, but says friends ranted about the long lines, lack of food, and poor organization in neighborhood e-mails during both years of the event.

Even those who didn’t go to the concert complained about drunk crowds and park closures.
And once the festival wrapped up she witnessed the aftermath first hand.

“I saw the grass torn up afterwards, and then there’s just a lot of trucks coming in and out of the park and dumpsters and just things like that just sort of changing the atmosphere of the park for a couple days.  For me it wasn’t a big deal one way or the other,” Bender said.

That’s why, despite receiving $75,000 to host the event, the Parks Department officially announced that Googa Mooga and the park probably aren’t the right fit for one another.

Gary Lauderman attended the festival both years and says he agrees.  “I think it’s a good festival, but probably not for Prospect Park,” said Lauderman.

Lauderman says he returned to the festival after the chaotic first year because of the free music.
But even he was frustrated when the rain washed out the festival this year, despite tweets from the organizer saying the show would go on.

“At least one thousand people lined up along the park waiting to go in, in the rain, for at least an hour, well over an hour.”

For those hoping to get rid of Googa Mooga altogether, well you’re not out of the woods just yet.  The event organizers say even though they won’t be coming back here to Prospect Park they’re looking for a new venue for the event.

In a statement, organizer Superfly Presents, told PIX 11 News:

“We understand and support the Department of Parks & Recreation’s decision, and we look forward to continuing a great working relationship with them, both on this project and others in the future.”

Lauderman says, if the government shutdown is over by then, Floyd Bennett Field would be the perfect place to host the “amusement park of food, drink and music.”

“They’ve got parking out there, of course it’s serviceable by the trains, and it’s just not such a pain for the people in the neighborhood to deal with.”

If that happens, he says he’ll be back again next year as long as the tickets are still free.