A Sneak Peek at the Great GoogaMooga’s Urban Food Exhibit

05/16/2012 11:15 AM |


This weekend, the Nethermeads in Prospect Park will be transformed into a circus of food and music, called the Great Googamooga Festival. Produced by Surefly Presents (which has launched outdoor fests such as Bonaroo and Outsidelands), the lineup of bands, restaurants, and activities taking place at the two-day event is dizzying, daring, and delicious-sounding. Given its unique emphasis on Brooklyn’s best food, the festival’s organizers collaborated with the local nonprofit Just Food on an exhibit that explores the back-end of chefs’ masterpieces: growing, sourcing, butchering, and composting. The series of workshops curated by Just Food will be held in the UrBARN at GoogaMooga throughout both days of the festival.

While other activities at the festival include a “Hamageddon” and a “Hot Sauce Takedown,” the chief goal of UrBARN is to educate. (There’s plenty to eat from the 75 participating food vendors, including Momofuku Milk Bar, The Spotted Pig, Mile End and Roberta’s.) Over a year of collaborating, Just Food and Surefly determined to capture the mission of Just Food’s work in a visual and interactive display. To that end, the activities at UrBARN include a demo with Fleisher’s Meats, a “CSA Smackdown,” and a “Wiggly Worms” composting how-to. In addition, the festival is making a donation to the nonprofit organization.

To create the structure for this series, the event organizers and Just Food turned to Pratt Institute students. Over a one-day “design jam,” six concepts for the structure were presented, and the barn immediately became a favorite, according to Jacquie Berger, Executive Director of Just Food: “It connects the farm and the city with such a great striking visual.”

With construction rapidly underway in Prospect Park this week, the barn structure stands out amongst the sprawling food stands and bandstands. Thanks to a lot of tireless work from the students and partners, this unique addition to the festival likely won’t be overlooked. As a first-time event for NYC—a city with many music and food festivals over the summer—the Great GoogaMooga has a lot to prove over the weekend. VIP or “Extra Googa” tickets are still available for the festival, while general admission is already sold out. But fans of local food are already cheering its efforts to tie in Just Food’s advocacy missions and community-oriented vibe. Said Berger, “We wanted to educate people about the food system, meet them where they are, and help them move along the continuum towards a safer, healthier, greener, more delicious, and more community oriented food environment.”

See the schedule for GoogaMooga’s food activities, incuding UrBARN here.